Endurance | Chicago Reader


Runner and Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie plays himself in this documentary-drama, which combines real events and reenactments to convey his aspirations and achievements. To help shape his upbringing in rural Ethiopia into readily digestible drama, traumas such as a death in the family are dutifully poeticized. Intertitles are used to quantify his experiences, noting how many hours he spent each day getting water for his family's farm or the distance he ran to and from school, and images of the young Haile (played by Yonas Zergaw) engaged in these exertions are repeatedly juxtaposed with footage of him training and competing as an adult—a correlation that's obvious enough the first time. Written and directed by Leslie Woodhead.

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