Friday, February 5, 2010

Awesome Land: Women of Dirt

From the Seattle Times:
In the final moments of "Awesome Land: Women of Dirt," two of the professional female cyclists championed by this unabashedly enthusiastic sports documentary go tearing down a winding, bumpy trail in a forest for the sheer pleasure of it. Afterward, in the waning afternoon light, they head to a beach where they disappear beneath a gathering wave because, well, it feels good.

Mountain-biking documentaries are hardly rare, yet rarely do they convey the kind of heightened experience of being alive that the women athletes in "Awesome Land" so clearly feel. Many of the cyclists shown engaging in their extreme sport are past and present champions of women's downhill racing and related competitions in dirt jumping and free riding. But, on film at least, they spend little time talking about their personal victories, preferring to celebrate their inclusion in an activity gradually gaining respect in a male-dominated field.

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