Spirit Of The Marathon

  • Year:2008
  • Rating:G
  • Director:Jon Dunham
  • Cast:Dick Beardsley, Ryan Bradley, Leah Caille
  • Release Date:October 30, 2008
  • Distributor:Sharmill
  • Running time:102 minutes
  • Film Worth:$9.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…fails to raise the heart rate of its less engaged viewers.”

34c340629dfd856a4e9a.jpg

With The Spirit of the Marathon, debuting feature director Jon Dunham (whose background is as a cinematographer) tracks human perseverance and personal triumph through the 2005 Chicago Marathon, following a diverse cast of amateur avids and elite athletes, all of whom hope to conquer the pounding 42.2 kilometres of pavement.

While some run for charity and others for competition, 70-year-old Jerry Meyers, in his fifth marathon quips: "I do it for the t-shirt." The race is a post-divorce "Everyman's Everest" for first timer and single mother Leah Caille, while 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor runs to help preserve her world ranking, and Tokyo's Daniel Njenga competes to support his Kenyan family.

With substantial energy spent educating viewers on the history of marathon running through vintage footage, the film picks the brains of "marathon experts" who contribute incisive anecdotes, such as the so-called "Boston Incident" when female running pioneer Kathrine Switzer competed in a men's only 1967 Boston Marathon amidst fears that a female runner would be too frail and that her "uterus might fall out".

Still, for its strengths, The Spirit of the Marathon often feels more like a tele movie than a proper cinema release, despite best efforts from Dunham, a veteran of 24 marathons. While he succeeds in capturing the very human stories behind the enduring race, the film largely fails to raise the heart rate of its less engaged viewers. Awarded the audience choice award at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival, it is surely a special treat for Chicagoans and marathoners alike, especially for how it provides a human face for one of the city's major annual highlights.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

Thunder Down Under
Thunder Down Under

Writer, director, producer and star Aaron Davison discusses his new film, Talking Back at Thunder, and the process of getting it made in an exotic and remote location like Northern Queensland.

Through the Lens
Through the Lens

We continue our coverage of the rising Western Australian film industry, with the WA Screen Academy and its contribution to training the next generation of filmmakers.

Sex and the West Australians
Sex and the West Australians

In our new issue we take a look at the film industry in Western Australia, and we continue online with the webseries, 'Ashbeclee'.

Bringing Back the BIFF
Bringing Back the BIFF

The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) recently had a change with the announcement of the inaugural Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF), which will open Australia up to new internationally renowned films.