The Athlete (PG)

Film

Athlete_05.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 26 2012

It was the big shock of the 1960 Rome Olympics: an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian won the marathon in record time. He was 29-year-old Abebe Bikila, the first of the great East African long-distance runners (and the first African to win Olympic gold). This 2009 film (it wasn’t released in the UK at the time, but someone has clearly spotted its potential and given it a dust-off) mixes drama with electric archive footage of Bikila’s Olympic wins (he took his second gold at Tokyo in ’64).

But the dramatic scenes are a bit stiff. Co-director Rasselas Lakew stars as Bikila, whom we meet in 1969 on the way to see his family. But before he reaches home, the car crashes and Bikila is paralysed. The strength of character he shows is extraordinary, but the filmmakers are strangely incurious about Bikila’s inner life. Luckily there’s still that gripping archive footage, which gave me my first tingle of excitement about London 2012.

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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Jun 29, 2012

Duration:

92 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Rasselas Lakew, Davey Frankel

Cast:

Rasselas Lakew, Dag Malmberg

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

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Marx

Am a big fan of biopics. The Olympics coming up makes it even better

Matt

I saw this film when it won at the Edinburgh festival and thought it and inspiring and emotional journey then. So pleased to see its going out to a wider audience.

Matt

I saw this film when it won at the Edinburgh festival and thought it and inspiring and emotional journey then. So pleased to see its going out to a wider audience.