GRFF Executive Director Tamara Louks and HURT director Alan Zweigat the post-screening Q&A. Photo credit: Brian Duggan
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny) profiles one-time Canadian national hero Steve Fonyo, who raised millions of dollars for cancer research with his 1984-85 coast-to-coast run and was subsequently disgraced by numerous troubles with the law. Winner of the Platform Prize, TIFF. Rated 14A.
Three decades ago, Steve Fonyo, an 18-year-old who’d lost a leg to cancer, became both a national hero and the youngest recipient of the Order of Canada when he ran across the country to raise funds for research. His life since has been no fairy tale. Substance abuse, jail time, and the government’s decision to strip him of his Order of Canada left Fonyo publicly disgraced and forgotten. (The only attendee at an anniversary celebration of his epochal run was the cop who busted him.) Yet he soldiers on, eventually giving us glimpses of the teenager who had the perseverance to complete such a feat back in 1985. Though Fonyo’s story is transfixing, it is director Alan Zweig’s empathy and wit that lift this documentary to the level of contemporary classics like . Zweig shows us a Canada seldom seen onscreen — and rarely with such impact. – Steve Gravestock, TIFF
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