Young at heart the way of the elderly Greek Marathon runners

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Three elderly men, their bodies bearing the visible scars of time, yet their spirit remaining uncrushed, gather all their strength to overcome challenges and go through the strain that is the classic marathon. As far as metaphors for Greece’s own turbulent path through time goes, this is probably as good as it gets. Greece is looking for inspiration and for stories that will boost morale, and “Finish Line”, Eliana Abravanel’s critically acclaimed documentary, delivers. The film follows the lives of three unlikely marathon runners. Idomeneas is a robust Cretan who runs the Athens Marathon barefoot, wearing a full suit of armor; Andonis is a shepherd who discovered his talent for long distances aſter he accidentally outran a wolf who had stolen one of his sheep; And 85-years-old Stelios is the oldest marathoner in Greece, chasing aſter his own version of immortality.  Veterans of the historic Athens Marathon, the three elderly men share a unique running philosophy, that’s intricately entwined with their inner lives, and which proves to be both inspired and inspirational. Eliana Abravanel, herself a Marathon Runner, who studied film at the age of 48, sees them as living imbodiments of “late blooming”. Her fascination with them began when she run into them in various races.  “I’m not sure whether it was their blissed-out expression or the look of recognition as they turned and nodded in my direction, indicating I was one of “them””, she says. “So I started documenting their lives, hoping to understand what bound us together. Our worlds were light years apart, yet running unlocked every door, until I was finally able to put my finger on it. We had all somehow managed to nab that perfect pace that renders the finish line irrelevant. Since then, every finish line has become a new starting point and this documentary is a homage to every late bloomer out there who found the strength to start fresh”. The film ( Abravanel’s second full-length documentray after “Roughcut” which was about a Filipino transgender woman in Greece) premiered at the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in March. A special screening is to take place in Athens, at the Danaos cinema on May 11, with proceeds going in aid of MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Hellas.The goal is to fund an MDA Hellas team of runners to compete in the 34th Marathon with specially adapted wheelchairs. The event will also feature a live performance by Lagi (The Hares), a motivational percussion band that performs on roadsides during long- and middle-distance races, which also recorded the documentary’s soundtrack.last_img

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