The Long Distance
directed by Nima Sarvestani, Sweden 2016, 90'
African long distance runners triumph in events all over the world. Irrespective of whether the marathon is in Berlin, Boston or Seoul, representatives of Kenya or Ethiopia are atop the podium.
In his feature-length debut, director Daniel Sager presents the story of two Kenyan runners, Eunice and Felix, discovered by a German manager in Africa and brought to Europe.
Both of them leave their children and families, are extremely determined to be successful and make lots of money. Their early infatuation with Europe quickly gives way to disillusionment; despite good results, the high cost of living and managerial fees leave their earnings at close to zero. To meet the expectations of families and German hosts, they have to start in ever more competitions. But how much can bodies not used to such extreme demands take?
Sager avoids a sensationalist tone while his feel of rhythm and thought-through editing keep you on the edge of your seat right to the finish. He successfully shows a rarely seen side of modern sports, one hidden from television cameras, while the quality and excitement he conveys is far better than what we see on television.
- Admission free