Director Daniel Patrick Carbone returns to Tribeca, three years after Hide Your Smiling Faces
, his celebrated narrative about boys forced to grow up too fast, with a searing new documentary on the transition from boyhood to adulthood in places where opportunity is a forgotten word. Nick is winding down a high school football career in Trona, California, a derelict mining town on the rim of Death Valley. Larry wiles away the hours hunting rabbits in Pahokee, Florida’s sugarcane fields. And Tyler pursues the supreme passion of his life, dirt track racing, in the green woodlands around Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Moving gracefully between these subjects, and forward and backward in time, Phantom Cowboys
captures the consistent threads of responsibility, parenthood, and manhood that weigh on each of these small-town teenagers, regardless of the community that raised him. Carbone reconnects with each young man years after their first encounters, allowing his audience to observe how their ambitions evolve after just a few years on their own. This technique reveals the tension between personal drive and the uncontrollable social forces that ensure individuals will make their own, unique way in life. Phantom Cowboys
is a visually compelling and confident return to Tribeca for this emerging indie auteur.