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Town Of Runners review

A documentary about the village that has produced the most running Olympic medalists.

Ethiopian village Bekoji has produced more Olympic medallists than most countries.

Jerry Rothwell’s sunny if slight doc tracks Bekoji’s latest hopefuls, teenage girls Alemi and Hawii, to learn why.

Dispelling the usual clichés about Africa, Rothwell reveals instead an entrepreneurial community where “running is work” and villagers chip in two per cent of their salaries to support coach Sentayehu Eshetu.

Fluctuations in form, funding and bureaucracy hinder the girls’ progress but their ambition never wavers. In an Olympic year, here’s an inspirational reminder of what it’s all about.

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Available platformsMovie