Tuesday, August 18, 2009

REVIEW: Running Brave

Back in 1983, the story of Billy Mills was told in the film "Running Brave". As a member of the Sioux nation Mills was an incredibly talented runner in high school. The film begins at a high school meet and tells how Mills went on to run for Kansas, winning numerous college titles only to face incredible frustrations, struggles with his family, and competing demands of the "White" world, in addition to racism.

While I do not personally know Mills, or much about his philosophy and beliefs, I think that the filmmakers were trying to capture the spirit that Mills felt when running free on the plains of the Midwest as opposed to the harsh competitiveness of the college circuit. They did communicate that it is clearly difficult to reconcile the values and desires of the Caucasian world with those of the Native American.

Mills was never a consistently "winning" runner in that he did win a gold medal in the 10K and was successful in college, but winning races does not seem to have been his life goal. Instead, helping other, like his family and Nation is much more what his life seems to be about, as evidenced by his current passion, supporting Indian youth.

I may begin to sound like a broken record here, but for many of the stories of these running legends I am learning about, I have found Steve Runner's Phedip shows more enlightening and enjoyable. So, for more about Mills, check out Phedip Episode 125, "Running Legend Billy Mills". In fact, I am downloading it again now to give it another listen.

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