Atletu (The Athlete)
Atletu (The Athlete) (2009)

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… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2013
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Critic Score: 29% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times

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.

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London Evening Standard

The essential simplicity of this tale about a true hero is often very moving.

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Shaun Munro
What Culture

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.

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Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

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.

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Henry Barnes

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.

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Jason Solomons
Observer (UK)

Told through reconstruction and archive footage, the story of Ethiopian marathon legend Abebe Bikila can't muster the drama it deserves.

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David Jenkins
Little White Lies

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.

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