Everyday Activist - Running Shorts (BMFF 2019)

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 06:00 PM

Running Shorts (Banff Mountain Film Festival 2019)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

Heading into the 7th CUFF.Docs 2019 documentary film festival weekend, I wanted to “warm up” to the festival finale of The Secret Marathon with two short films that I watched as part of the 44th Banff Mountain Film Festival 2019. While running evokes childhood trauma of laps around the gym or from school to my house via pavement and back via a trail by the mountains, for others it’s a passport to a new life away from poverty, violence and expectations. In 2016, I reviewed Gun Runners, a film about a couple of Kenyan friends who gave up their guns to promote peace by running. Thabang and Aziza use ultra marathon trail running to break through barriers.

Thabang - Salomon athlete, Thabang Mandib, starting running as a way to cope with the difficulties of growing up in South Africa as a poor, black man, keeping him away from gang violence. His talent opened up opportunities for him to attend school, but because of poverty he decided to turn down the scholarship to work. Around his community, his smile along with his training ethic, inspire younger people. He often rides his bike to local races and still has to run a marathon on top of it. Through the sport of trail running in a place with few mountains, he has been able to see the ocean and travel internationally to compete with the best, including teammate famed Skyrunner Killian Jornet. During the Salomon Golden Trail Series, he was the only one from South Africa and one of the few not from Europe or the United States.

Aziza - Aziza breaks gender and Muslim stereotypes as she runs through the streets of her hometown without a hijab. Running with her brothers, she competed in her first marathon to win it and after that she was recruited to train with Morocco’s elite ultra marathon runners. Family support is important for any athlete, but more so for women, who have different expectations placed on them. Aziza manages to balance both family and running, having people speak kindly of her ambition, rather than comment on how she should be married. Despite her exceptional talent, her heart belongs to developing other females runners; instead of focusing on her next big win, making her improbable story even more unique.

Calgary Showtimes: 44th Banff Centre Mountain Film + Book Festival 2019 >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.