Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Veteran ethnographic documentarian Leslie Woodhead helmed this U.S.-British docudrama about Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie (with the Atlanta Olympic games sequence directed by Bud Greenspan). Gebrselassie won the gold medal in the men's 10,000-meters race at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and the Atlanta race serves as a framing device. Yonas Zergaw, the athlete's nephew, portrays him as a youth, with Gebrselassie portraying himself from age 18. At his native village of Asela, he ran 12 miles daily to school. When fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter won the 10,000-meter race at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Haile was inspired and became a serious runner at 17, moving to Addis Ababa to begin training. Haile's late mother is played by his eldest sister. Haile's father portrays himself in later scenes, with Haile's first cousin acting as the father as a younger man in the film's earlier sequences. Shown at 1998 film fests (Telluride, Venice).
Ethiopian [nationality], gold-medal, race [competition], runner, training