What cuts the deepest emotionally in Annie Silverstein’s new indie narrative, Bull, is the power of found family. The film centers on struggling 14-year-old Kris (newcomer Amber Havard) who has little to emulate in her own family, as her mother, doing time in the state penitentiary, offers parental advice like punching aggressive schoolmates to show who’s boss.
In Amber’s impovrished Houston neighborhood, she has little to motivate and drive her beyond getting the approval of delinquent kids looking to drink and drug. To gain their attention, she offers a late-night break-in and booze fest in her neighbor Abe Turner’s house. Abe (Rob Morgan), an ex-bullrider is trying to get by working the rodeo circuit as as a rodeo protection athlete, or ‘bullfighter’, and doing odd jobs around town. When he catches Kris running from his trash-strewn house, a pact is made with the cops and Kris’s grandmother for Kris to work off what she owes him, both financially and morally.