Directed by Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel

Ethiopia, 2009 , 93 min.

Ethiopian track and field athlete, Abebe Bikila (1932-1973), was the first black African to win an Olympic medal, and ultimately the first man ever to win two Olympic marathons. This soft-spoken son of an Ethiopian shepherd shocked the Western world when he crossed the finish line barefoot at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Mr. Bikila became an inspiration and a model for Africans everywhere, and the world of distance running would never be the same. But as The Athlete demonstrates in a seamless blend of documentary footage and dramatic rendition, Abebe Bikila’s greatest personal challenges still lay before him. The Athlete is Ethiopia’s first Oscar contender in the Foreign Language Film category, nominated for consideration for 2011.

In Amharic and English with English subtitles.