In the film “Free to Run,” the Wild & Scenic Film Festival showcases a popular genre: extreme sports & adventure. Is a 275-mile run extreme enough for you? That’s about 10 marathons run immediately one after the other. Oh, and they’re running in the mountains on a not so obvious route.
Being an environmental film festival, these kinds of films often weave in substantive issues. “Free to Run” tells about an organization of that name that encourages and guides Afghani women to run … to be out in the world, in nature, running. Talk about extreme. In Afghanistan, restrictions on women are severe. Afghani women don’t do cross-country-style runs. They don’t express themselves that way, don’t experience such things, don’t make such a statement.
It’s engaging enough to have a film about Stephanie Case running 275 miles in 7 days. It’s especially engaging that she’s running to raise money for Afghani women’s rights, for the expanded horizons of Afghani women. This runner, this lawyer, this founder of the organization “Free to Run,” this Stephanie Case deals with far more complicated details than encouraging a bunch of people to get out and run.
Stephanie’s effort and pain and dedication to something bigger than herself makes for a motivating film with a chance to get to know her and to root for her and to root for the women she represents and helps.
Count how many steps you walk to the movie theater if you want, but see “Free to Run.”