An almost primeval evocation of childhood fears and desires, The Black Stallion strikes the chords buried deepest within us. Based on Walter Farley’s novel, this epic family film follows a young boy (Kelly Reno) who is shipwrecked off the coast of North Africa along with a wild horse. They manage to survive together, only to have their bond threatened back in the civilized world until an aging jockey (Mickey Rooney) takes them under his wing. The iconic imagery that has made the film a classic can be found in the first half, as director Carroll Ballard relies less on words than on Caleb Deschanel’s ravishing cinematography to tell the story. The island section is pure cinema, best represented by the first time this scrawny boy feeds the majestic horse. Captured in silhouette against a shimmering sea, their tentative gestures take on the form of a beautiful dance. It’s a stirring film’s most stirring moment.