Desert Runners

Desert Runners

Here we are at number six on our Best Movies of 2013 countdown, and today we are going to look at the best documentary I have seen all year... I am talking about Desert Runners.

Now, 2014 has been a truly wonderful year for documentary film as we have seen a whole host of fantastic films hit the big screen.

Despite the likes of The Crash Reel and Battle of the Sexes also impressing us, Desert Runners remains the #1 documentary of the year.

The movie saw Jennifer Steinman return to the director's chair to focus on a gruelling series of four 150-mile footraces that are held in various extreme climates -- the Atacama Desert, the Gobi, the Sahara, and Antarctica.

Desert Runners follows four competitors in particular: Samantha (25) is a law student and wants to do something outside of her organised and controlled life; Ricky (33) is looking for something that will test him; Tremaine (41) is running in memory of his wife and Dave (56) wants to show that age is no obstacle.

Over the course of these four gruelling races we truly get to known these four individuals, why they are taking part, what drives them.

While Steinman well and truly gets under the skin of these four people, the way she films never feels in your face or intrusive.

From start to finish, Desert Runners is a movie about the human spirit, endurance and the will to achieve what you set out to, as these four push themselves to their very limit.

It is a breathless watch as Steinman films in a way where you really capture and feel every painful step and difficult breath.

Spectacular is a word that is banded around far too often in movies, but that is exactly what Desert Runner is. Steinman and her cinematographer Sevan Matossia have captured both the beauty and the harshness of the surrounding: it really does make the most stunning backdrop.

The unforgiving nature of the landscape has a real power to it, that is almost becomes a character in itself.

Desert Runners takes us on four very personal journeys and four personal struggles that are uplifting and entertaining as they are painful and devastating.

Steinman really is at the top of her game with Desert Runners and it is a documentary that you absolutely cannot miss.

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