Films: The Marathon

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The Marathon  {De marathon}

The Marathon
De marathon

Netherlands, 2012, 110 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Sports
Program: Focus on National Cinema: Netherlands
Language: Dutch English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Diederick Koopal
Producer: Hans de Weers, Reinout Oerlemans, Maarten Swart
Editor: Marc Bechtold, Brian Ent
Screenwriter: Gerard Meuldijk, Martin van Waardenberg
Cinematographer: Jeroen de Bruin
Principal Cast: Stefan de Walle, Martin van Waardenberg, Marcel Hensema, Frank Lammers, Mimoun Oaissa 

Tickets for the 11/9 screening are now only available via our Film Festival Partner, The World Trade Center Denver. Click here to buy your tickets.

Many of the most earnest and sincere cinematic moments are found in dramas containing comedic moments and in comedies including dramatic moments, because that’s how life really is. And this formula is what makes a film produced thousands of miles away resonate with audiences. Dutch director Diederick Koopal’s feature debut is also an underdog film, done well.

Gerard owns a garage in Rotterdam and passes the time with his coworker pals Leo, Nico, and Kees drinking beer, eating junk food, and playing cards while the “camel,” an Egyptian immigrant named Youssoef, does all the actual repairs on the cars. Their jobs and coveted livelihood are threatened by back taxes to the tune of 40,000 euro that Gerard has been ignoring for some time. The foursome discover that marathon runners receive big bucks from sponsors, so they decide to participate in the famous Rotterdam event … but they are all oblivious to the fact that the race is actually 26 miles.

Endearing “training” montage sequences ensue, intercut with reactions from spouses, family members, and one handsome young New Balance employee. Leading up to race day, they each “determine who they are” and allow their individual inner greatness they had been masking for so long to finally shine through. At this point we are not really concerned if they actually complete the task since they already came so far, yet the suspense commences once the footage shot on actual race day begins. Co-writers Martin van Waardenberg (who also plays Leo) and Gerard Meuldijk are not afraid to tackle racial epithets, Nico’s surfacing silver-fox complex, and other hard-hitting issues. The runners are not the only ones showing stamina, with a champion ensemble delivering rock-solid performances all around.

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