Lebogang Rasethaba’s new short film celebrates Soweto Marathon
Arcade Content’s Lebogang Rasethaba co-directed A New Belief: The People’s Race with German Stephan Wever. The inspiring short film celebrates the Nike Soweto Marathon, which returned last November after skipping a year in 2013 for the first time since it began in 1992.
Founded in the year of the referendum to end Apartheid, The Soweto Marathon has become known as ‘The People’s Marathon,’ attracting people of all races, from across Africa and the rest of the world.
Lebogang says he wanted to tell the film from the perspective of Soweto, so the marathon didn’t come across like “this big alien.”
In A New Belief: The People’s Race, over striking visuals of the Soweto Marathon, motivational speaker Les Brown narrates the story of Roger Bannister, who broke the four-minute mile record in 1954, silencing skeptics who had argued that it was not physically possible.
“Since that time, up to this day, over 20 000 people have done it, including high school kids,” says Brown in a Martin Luther King-style voice-over. “20,000 people. What changed? Here’s what happened: when they got on the track, they knew it had been done, and because they knew it had been done, there was a new belief about this barrier that was unreachable, and those 20,000 people got in a race believing, knowing in their hearts that someone had done it, that it’s possible, that they can do it.”
Over 20,000 people is also the number of runners in last year’s Soweto Marathon, an event which, like Bannister, has changed perceptions of what’s possible.
Lebo praises the Soweto Marathon and running culture for making the streets accessible again. “If it wasn’t for running culture, a lot of us wouldn’t be able to experience the city the way we have.”
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