The Long Green Line is a film that will resonate with anyone who runs. It may resonate a bit more for anyone who aspires to be a coach, who currently coaches, or anyone who's been touched by a coach. So, it's a film just about anyone.
The Long Green Line can currently be viewed on Hulu for FREE.
For more details about the film, visit http://www.longgreenlinemovie.com/
Touching the Void
This is another film not necessarily about running per se, but there are many elements of this film that will resonate for runners.
Touching the Void is based on a book of the same title about Joe Simpson and Simon Yates' disastrous and nearly fatal attempt to climb the 20,813 foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.
After successfully ascending the previously unclimbed West Face of the Siula Grande, Simpson suffers a broken leg during the descent. Yates and Simpson decide to lower Simpson via ropes in the middle of a nasty storm.
Yates can't see where he's lowering Simpson and the former eventually drops him off a cliff. Suspended in mid-air by the rope, Yates has no idea what the condition of his friend is. After waiting an hour, Yates cuts the rope to save his life assuming Simpson is dead.
The movie while not exclusively a documentary is filmed in cinema verite style lending an air of realism to the film that makes you feel like you're right there with Joe and Simon in the midst of a perilous climb that nearly claimed both of their lives.
Interspersed with the powerful recreated footage of the climb are poignant interviews with Joe, Simon, and several other key individuals involved with the doomed Siula Grande ascent.
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned as a runner is to cling to hope even when I'm deep in the valley of fatigue and despair. There is no film I've seen that more vividly underscores this message or better conveys the power of the human spirit more than Touching the Void.
Touching the Void can be viewed via instant streaming on Netflix. Additional information about the film can be found at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/
Unbreakable: The Western States 100
Rounding things out is Unbreakable: The Western States 100. I was extraordinarily fortunate to be able to host the world premiere of this stellar documentary to a packed house of more than 300 passionate runners and ultra runners.
For the uninitiated, The Western States 100 is effectively the 'Boston Marathon' of ultras. Attracting the best ultra runners on the planet regularly, the 2010 edition of the event was particularly special. Four undefeated ultra runners (Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka, and Killian Jornet) toed the line. Only one would remain 'unbroken' at the end of the day.
Director JB Benna is a hardcore ultra runner himself and this comes through powerfully in every frame of this exceptional documentary. JB vividly captures the energy, passion, and characters that make up the ultra community.
The characters are compelling. The story is riveting. The cinematography is stellar. The editing is nearly seamless. The music is exceptional. Unbreakable: The Western States 100 is the best documentary about running I have ever seen.
If you're a runner (or ultra runner), there's no way you'll walk away unaffected. If you abhor running and can't even fathom ultra running, I can't imagine you won't find yourself having second thoughts.
The film was just released and there are screenings taking place all over the country. You can also pre-order the DVD.
Visit http://www.ws100film.com/index.html for all the details.