Ride Till I Die is a documentary about one man’s dream to become a champion bull rider. Ricky Ringer has been riding bulls for over two decades. Though he has been very successful, he has never won a championship. As his career winds down, Ricky realizes he does not have many more chances to win that elusive title.
The film tells the type of underdog story that audiences love. When Ringer was 15, his father walked out on his family. Ringer learned that he was great at bull riding and was able to earn money doing it. Winning a title seemed inevitable.
Along the way, Ringer met his wife and started a family. (His son Lil’ Ricky accompanies his father throughout Ride Till I Die.) One of the most interesting aspects of the film is how grounded its subject is. Bull riding does not get the same limelight has other mainstream sports, so even though Ringer is considered a bull riding legend, he does not live in a world that is walled off by his fame.
This makes it much easier to get pulled into his story. Ride Till I Die chronicles much of the pain and heartbreak that has been a part of Ringer’s career. This includes some near misses and a horrific accident in 2010 in which his face was crushed. It is also about one person’s obsession with winning. His mother and wife have begged him to stop riding and even Ringer himself has retired on a few occasions only to come back.
There is a sadness mingled with love that hangs over the documentary. Ringer has a strong support system with a family that loves him. He also cares for his family, but it is almost as if he has to prove something to himself. There are many moments in Ride Till I Die that he realizes that his best days are behind him, but Ringer is also incapable of quitting. It is a documentary that tells a familiar tale in a unique setting.
Ride Till I Die opens in select theaters & digital platforms April 8
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