Atletu (The Athlete)
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Atletu (The Athlete)
The inspiring true story of an Olympic champion who is faced with a new challenge provides the basis for this drama from filmmakers Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel. Abebe Bikila (Rasselas Lakew) was a world-class distance runner from Ethiopia who became the first African to win a gold medal in the Olympics when he came in first in the Marathon during the 1960 games in Rome -- while running in his bare feet. Bikila then repeated the feat at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, making him the first marathon runner to win the title twice in a row. But Bikila's career as a runner came to an abrupt end in… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There are perhaps two better films lurking within "Atletu," one a more straightforward documentary and the other a narrative biopic, but this hybrid falls flat."
‑ Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"The essential simplicity of this tale about a true hero is often very moving."
‑ , This is London
"Effective at studying a physical specimen, but as an examination of a man in terms of what he means to his family and his country, the context is fatally scarce."
‑ Shaun Munro, What Culture
"This is an ambitious and brave project which, if it doesn't quite reach the heights it might, is still a worthwhile watch and bodes well for both filmmakers in future."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"It's a blend of documentary and drama, but while the archive clips of Bikila's victories are thrilling, the performances are flat and the script tired."
‑ Henry Barnes, Guardian
"Told through reconstruction and archive footage, the story of Ethiopian marathon legend Abebe Bikila can't muster the drama it deserves."
‑ Jason Solomons, Observer [UK]
"You feel that Bikila's admittedly amazing story would've been better transmitted through straight documentary or straight drama, not an uneasy bowlderisation of both."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
More reviews for Atletu (The Athlete) on Rotten Tomatoes