Woods Hole Film Festival Review: ‘Skid Row Marathon’ Steps Up As An Inspirational Journey

Review By LC Cragg

This authentic story of real life redemption delivers authentic inspiration. Taking place mostly in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, Judge Craig Mitchell takes us on a deeply emotional journey with his running club made up of ex substance abuse addicts

The former UCLA basketball coach and icon John Wooden’s quote personifies the theme of this film.

“You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

This sports documentary steps into the shoes of former addicts, telling their journeys as part of a running club which uses marathon training in an attempt to lift them out of their homelessness, poverty and self-destructive life styles.

The story’s true hero is the running club’s founder, a former Los Angeles County prosecuting attorney and now a sitting judge: Judge Craig Mitchell. He was looking for a way to help people find purpose and get them “back on their feet”, after their past and ongoing battles with addiction.

Shot in more of a docudrama than a pure documentary, we follow several runners’ journeys from early morning trainings in Los Angeles to international marathon experiences. Those international marathons include Ghana, Africa and Rome, Italy.

This film’s simplicity and authenticity radiates many themes of hope. Just give a little bit of yourself…sometimes that is enough. This film’s humble message requests no sports like call to action; delivering a great reminder that in the depths of despair, poverty and decay like skid row, someone may be trying to help and succeeding ….one step at a time.

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