Endurance
G
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +4

This new documentary/drama follows the life of 1996 Olympian Haile Gebrsellasie (Yonas Zergaw), an Ethiopian who won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters. The film begins with scenes from the actual gold medal race, and, as the camera focuses in on Haile, he recalls his early years in Ethiopia. As a child, he runs six miles to school everyday barefoot over treacherous terrain. And in the afternoons, he immediately rushes out into the fields to help his family with the farming. From early in his life and against his fathers (Tedesse Haile) will, Haile dreams of being a world class runner. As a youth, he begins to train in earnest and ultimately realizes his dream of Olympic glory. Along Hailes challenging journey, several people are introduced who influence Hailes life, most notably his mother and his wife. We are also exposed to many of the cultural differences in Ethiopia, which make for a rich and interesting film. However, while this documentary is beautifully done, its lack of national promotion and rather slow-moving story line will keep it from summer popularity.

The film strongly implies that Haile believes in Christ. His family attends a Christian church. He recognizes that God gives him strength to accomplish anything good in his life, and Haile prays the Lords Prayer. However, the most telling scene happens when the family is gathered in their home and they read the Bible together. Haile reads the story from Matthew 9 when Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman. Jesus tells the sick woman that her faith has healed her and after hearing this, Hailes mother tells her children that it is good to have faith. The strong implication here is that she means faith in Christ. The films title is indicative of another important quality in the movie. Haile goes through so much and trains for so long that he is clearly portrayed as a model of persevering through difficult times. It should be noted that the film does exhibit the polytheism of some villagers, but none of these people are a part of Hailes family. This element is not enough to prevent us from wholeheartedly recommending this film to teenagers and adults alike.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Mild (Boy's hand slapped with ruler)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Strong Christian theme throughout; emphasis on perservering
Running Time: 83 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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