Virgil Films // 2009 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // October 22nd, 2011
Be somebody's hero.
My Run documents the travels of Terry Hitchcock. In 1996, he ran from Minneapolis to Atlanta in 75 days. The run was approximately equivalent to running a marathon (26.2 miles) every day for 75 consecutive days.
What would compel a non-athlete to undertake such a brutal journey? Moreover, what would possess a 57-year-old man with heart problems to do something like this? The reason is to raise awareness about single-parent families.
The driver behind this rationale is that Hitchcock's wife died of breast cancer in 1984. Hitchcock then lost his job. And he had three kids to raise by himself. So, he went about raising them. He had to learn to cook, run a household, and find a new job. He had to balance all of these things. No easy to task, although we don't gain much insight into how Hitchcock managed all of this for, after some photo montages, the film jumps to 1996 with Hitchcock deciding to do the run.
An interesting observation is that, from what the film shows, the Hitchcock family seems to be solidly middle class. Their situation does not resemble anything remotely close to the very dire situation facing many low-income, single-parent families in America's inner cities. No parent in those circumstances can take 75 days out of their life to go for an "awareness" raising run. This realization is but one of the film's many problems.
Another issue with My Run is that it lacks drama. The film is a retrospective documentary for an event that occurred 15 years ago. We know he will succeed. Moreover, while Hitchcock hits some snags along the way, there really isn't any big obstacle. The main problems appear to be finding shelter (which is resolved rather quickly) and doing laundry. Not exactly edge of your seat stuff, although there is a minor health scare. This lack of any true crisis or major event, such as those present in Man On A Wire or The White Diamond, does not make for compelling viewing. Instead, the film is basically 85 minutes of sequences of Hitchcock shuffling slowly on his way to Atlanta. This could have been an effective 60 Minutes episode, but not a feature film.
Further, the point of Hitchcock's run was to raise awareness of the struggles of single-parent families. Yet the film presents almost nothing about this issue. There are a few comments about Hitchcock's experience, but the broader situation, as noted above, is never addressed. One would expect an exploration of low income single-parent families in America, but this does not materialize at all. This failing is too major to ignore and sinks the film.
We were given a screener copy to review, so I cannot comment on the technical aspects of this release. Also, none of the extras (a trailer, picture gallery, and an interview with Hitchcock) were included.
Good intentions alone do not make a film worth watching (or making).
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Virgil Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Photo Gallery
* Official Site