‘Rez’ leads pack at Arlington Film Fest

Oct 21, 2012

A standout documentary effort, Somerville filmmaker Brian Truglio’s “Racing the Rez” was shot on location in the canyons and mesas of Northern Arizona on the Hopi and Navajo reservations, where Truglio’s subjects, young Native American cross-country runners, strive against a majestic, at times surreal backdrop. The film, which can be seen tonight at 6:30 at the Arlington International Film Festival 2012, is an accomplished sports-related tale of underprivileged students for whom running may be a way out of a particularly brutal cycle of poverty and substance abuse.

More than that, running for these young men is a part of their cultural heritage and a virtual religious experience (Truglio observes that -Navajos still practice the ritual of running east to greet the rising sun). Add “Racing the Rez” to the list of note-worthy movies about running, in-cluding the fiction films “Chariots of Fire” and Tony Richardson’s “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.”

(“Racing the Rez” contains no objectionable material.)

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