Endurance (Woodhead & Greenspan, 1999)

Endurance (Leslie Woodhead & Bud Greenspan, 1999)

At its best, this film is a poetic exploration of the life of the world’s best distance runner of his time. At its worst, it’s a cheesy fighting-all-odds story. The film consists of two real parts – one focusing on the childhood of Haile Gebrsellasie, and one on his adulthood. Unfortunately, his childhood is a bit too movie-of-the-week. I mean, the worst thing that happens to him is that he steps on a thorn (Okay, that’s a bit sarcastic, but this part of the story is not near as tragic as the filmmakers wanted it to be.)

endurance

Luckily, when the film focuses on his life as an adult, the movie is great. Gebrsellasie plays himself is what is actually a docu-drama, (I thought this was just going to be a documentary), and he actually does a great job. He deals with his father as he chooses to run as a profession, he has an awkward first date with the woman he would eventually marry, and we see him competing in the Olympics in a surprising poetic presentation of the race; the sound editing is fantastic as all we really hear is his breathing and pounding of the racers’ steps. There’s a good chance this movie is only enjoyable for those with long distance running experience, but perhaps this can be universally appreciated. I can’t really say.  7.25/10

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2 Responses to “Endurance (Woodhead & Greenspan, 1999)”

  1. Do all runners have hard-to-pronounce names? Gebrsellasie, Weseloh… 🙂

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