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Town of Runners

  • Documentary and factual
  • Sport
  • 2012
  • Jerry Rothwell
  • 88 mins
  • PG

Summary

Town of Runners is a feature documentary about young runners from the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji, home to the current Olympic and World Champions Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. The film follows three children as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

In the isolated Ethiopian town of Bekoji, coach Sentayehu Eshetu's remarkable eye for talent has resulted in several of his charges achieving championship greatness (Olympic gold medallists Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, among them). Yet, as Jerry Rothwell discovers in this intriguing, but inconsistent documentary, athletic success often owes as much to luck as genuine talent in a country where corruption and incompetence blight everything from local track meets to government-sponsored training camps. Rothwell exposes the shambolic situation by following the fortunes of teenage girls Hawii and Alemi, whose experiences of trying to escape rural poverty by attending the prestigious (but chaotically run) Holeta and Wolis academies are contrasted with young Biruk's struggle to keep his tiny family shop open in the face of Chinese development. Rothwell's film raises many pressing issues, but they get rather lost in the fragmented structuring. Consequently, this is never as touching, hard-hitting or compelling as it should have been.

How to watch

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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorJerry Rothwell

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2012-04-20
Languages
English
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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