Atletu (2009)

 |  Biography, Drama  |  2009 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 186 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 6 critic

Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefooted Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend. A hero ... See full summary »

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

After a long night at the office, an accountant stops to help an injured motorist and ends up becoming the target of two dangerous assassins.

Director: Thomas Jahn
Stars: Ian Somerhalder, Ruta Gedmintas, Oliver Debuschewitz
Prowl (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends... See full summary »

Director: Patrik Syversen
Stars: Ruta Gedmintas, Josh Bowman, Perdita Weeks
Help Point (2014)
Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young man who has lost his car in a huge airport car park meets a beautiful woman in the same predicament. Stuck together at the Help Point, his attempt to charm her does not quite work out as planned.

Director: Andrew Margetson
Stars: Cian Barry, Ruta Gedmintas, John Thomson
Exteriors (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

EXTERIORS is a film by Patrik Syversen and Marie Kristiansen. Its a poetic, realistic, surrealistic and somewhat experimental drama. The film features two girls, PEARL and SKYE, both ... See full summary »

Directors: Marie Kleivdal Kristiansen, Patrik Syversen
Stars: Josh Bowman, Ruta Gedmintas, Mariel Gomsrud
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A bachelor party weekend in the great outdoors takes some unexpected detours.

Director: John Butler
Stars: Andrew Scott, Hugh O'Conor, Peter McDonald
Northern Exposure (1990–1995)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A newly graduated doctor is required to set up his practice in an eccentric Alaskan town.

Stars: Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin
I Am Ali (2014)
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Unprecedented access to Muhammad Ali's personal archive of "audio journals" as well as interviews and testimonials from his inner circle of family and friends are used to tell the legend's life story.

Director: Clare Lewins
Stars: Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ali Jnr, Hana Ali
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Beside all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved and the movie tries to find... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose
Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas
Lady Chatterley's Lover (TV Movie 2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1913 Connie Reid marries wealthy Nottingham colliery owner Sir Clifford Chatterley but he returns from the Great War disabled and in a wheelchair. Connie is loyal but begins to feel ... See full summary »

Director: Jed Mercurio
Stars: Holliday Grainger, Richard Madden, James Norton
The Incident (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A successful young couple's sheltered, affluent world is shattered when they each make a decision to neglect the needs of a vulnerable teenage girl.

Director: Jane Linfoot
Stars: Lee Bainbridge, Tasha Connor, Madeleine Cooksey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A family of friends gather on the eve of the Iraq War to perform an intervention on Lippy, who is taking his anti-war activism too far. The night launches a series of events that forever change the lives off all who were there.

Director: Christopher Kublan
Stars: Cooper Daniels, Ruta Gedmintas, Kadeem Hardison


Credited cast:
Rasselas Lakew ...
Dag Malmberg ...
Abba Waka Dessalegn ...
The Priest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Ashenafi ...
Coach Nega
Woyneshet Belachew ...
Telephone Operator
Abebe Bikila ...
Himself (archive footage)
Arne Boysen ...
Gunnar Krogsveen
Yeneneh Ezra ...
Fekadu Gemechu ...
Mersha Getahun ...
Tigist Gurma ...
Motel Manager
Benito Mussolini ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hristo Petkov ...
Archery coach
Ekaterina Petrova ...


Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefooted Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend. A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first African to win a gold medal, and four years later in Tokyo would become the first person in history to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the marathon. This soldier and quiet son of a shepherd would be acknowledged by many as the greatest long distance runner the world had ever known. One evening while returning to his home in Addis Ababa from training in the Ethiopian countryside, Bikila was involved in a tragic car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to walk and faced with the greatest challenge of his life, he struggled to maintain his will to live and in the process discovered a deeper meaning of competition, taking up archery for the Paralympics and competing as a handicapped dog sledder in Norway. Though... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



| |



Release Date:

2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Athlete  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See  »

Did You Know?


Title card: [at the beginning of the film] "... the distant Ethiopians, the father outposts of mankind, half of whom live where the sun goes down, half where the sun rises." Homer, The Odyssey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A film that transcends already promising material.
9 November 2012 | by (North Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

This is one of those stories that might have made a perfectly good movie of the week, given its inherent drama and interest. Instead, the tale has been transformed and heightened into something like poetry by skillful use of telling imagery and understated moments. The simple fact that it is set in Ethiopia - a country rarely seen on-screen - sets it apart and gives it a stark (and skillfully shot) beauty; details like a priest in his robes, home-bottled honey as an "unnecessary" bribe for soldiers at a barrier, a horse abandoned on a road, a traditional bard in a cheap bar, anchor it in a specific and intriguing reality. The looming tragedy of Ethiopia's later history is hinted at only by a confrontation with an arrogant cadet; this is still the essentially ancient Ethiopia of Haile Selassie, where the protagonist's car is an anomaly. The core of the movie lies in the latter's determined face as he looks beyond both the admiration and the disparagement of others towards his very personal desire to win, confronting one major unexpected obstacle with equally unexpected improvisation. We are aware throughout how very important the victories of one man were to a battered country - "It took 500,000 Italians to conquer Ethiopia; it took one Ethiopian to conquer Rome" - but the power of the film lies above all in the personal, as quietly and powerfully portrayed by newcomer Rasselas Lakew. In the near future, we should expect to hear more from both the writer/star and the director of this quietly wonderful film.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Atletu (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: