Two Rarámuri runners are part of the cast of a new Mexican movie about a man training to compete in the Mexico City marathon.
Martín Moreno and Enrique Moreno star alongside film and television actor David Angulo in 37 kms, a film directed by Rafael Montero that is currently in the final phase of postproduction.
The protagonist meets Martín and Enrique at the start of the film, asks them for help to achieve his goal of running in the Mexico City marathon and pledges to accompany them as they run along the highway from Chihuahua city to the state’s Sierra region.
“They laugh at him a little and tell him he won’t get anywhere with those shoes,” Montero told the newspaper El Universal.
Rarámuri, or Tarahumara, people are renowned long-distance runners and typically run in traditional sandals called huaraches.
Tomás J. Ramírez, a Rarámuri siríame (traditional leader) in a Sierra community where the movie was partially filmed, and Martín Makawe, a local teacher, also appear in the film. The director said that the Rarámuri men also contributed to the development of the plot in real time.
“They said, ‘Yes, we want to participate but in a direct way, suggesting things,’” Montero said. “Some [of them] had already done theater in the sierra. They already had certain experience, so it wasn’t complicated. In the end, they understood what making a movie is about.”
Montero said that the amateur actors speak in both Spanish and Rarámuri in the film, which is expected to premiere at festivals later this year. Spanish subtitles will accompany the Rarámuri dialogue, he said.
The filming of 37 kms was postponed twice due to the pandemic, but shooting finally happened between September and November last year.
The federal government and private investors helped cover the 30-million-peso (US $1.5 million) cost of making the film, which already has a distributor in the United States.
“The idea is that when you come out of the cinema, you’ll feel good,” said Mineko Mori, one of the producers.
“It’s the story of a man who, like all of us, isn’t perfect. He has several problems in his life, but he’s not a bad person. Through this journey, he connects with the best version of himself, and it’s always nice to see the transformation of a person,” she said.
With reports from El Universal