Interrupting the Earth launches on 'Nowness'

April 2024

The upbeat rhythms of zydeco – a distinctive music played on accordion and scrub-board – carry a strong rural tradition in America’s southern states. Rooted in the Black Creole communities of southwest Louisiana and eastern Texas, zydeco music and the trail riding scene that emerged from it assemble people from across the region in a thumping celebration, as families mount horseback and ride out to a soundtrack of zydeco, hip hop and soul music.

A ritual for sharing food, drinking, and dancing, the rides turn a weekly party into an energetic symbol of cultural heritage, connecting the community in a shared appreciation of the pulsating music that drives the procession forwards. Connecting with female-led trail ride group the Texas Regulators while living in Louisiana, director Gwendolen von Einsiedel captures the essence of zydeco trail riding for Interrupting the Earth – co-produced with Creole filmmaker and lifelong trail rider Drake LeBlanc.

“As women of similar ages, the Texas Regulators took me under their wing. Their commitment as a trail ride group or ‘family’, was nothing short of inspirational. Interrupting the Earth became a participatory film project – to redefine knowledge production as a collaborative process.”

Exploring music’s significance at the scene’s core and the intimate connections between riders and their horses, Interrupting the Earth allows the Texas Regulator’s poetic language to guide a sensory experience. Told in their own words, the documentary evolves as a participatory film project, lensing the commitment to cultural heritage and community building that continues their dedication to the tradition.

A co-production with the University of Oxford's Research Centre in the Humanities.