New to VOD this week:
Hot Docs 2016
Palm Springs, Aspen, Atlantic
Two Kenyan men turn in their guns as part of a government disarmament program to pursue running instead.
When Nayar’s film begins, old friends Julius and Robert live in the bush in hiding, self-proclaimed warriors dependent on guns for power and respect. To address gun violence while also promoting competitive running, the Kenyan government institutes a plan that provides amnesty and a pair of running shoes in exchange for disarmament. While the more innocent Julius jumps at the chance to take up his childhood love of running, Robert is initially hesitant, concerned for his safety, but eventually comes around to participate in the program. Julius begins to excel in running, is invited to a special event at the United Nations, and dreams of qualifying for the NYC Marathon, but it’s soon revealed that he has a penchant for getting married and not supporting his spouses or children. Robert, meanwhile, tires of the training regiment and turns to farming to support his own family, while also dabbling in some shady local politics, much to the consternation of his wife. Nayar chose appealing, if somewhat guarded, subjects to follow, and occasionally lets their stories meander, but ultimately crafts an engaging look at what they do with their second chance.