2010 | 84 min
Directed by Charles Officer
NFB Film club presents a film to mark Black History Month. Mighty Jerome explores the life of Canadian Olympian Harry Jerome, a bronze medalist at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and a former world record holder in the 100 metres.
In 1959, at just nineteen years of age, Harry Jerome was Canada’s most promising track and field star and he was on his way to the Olympics in Rome. By 1962, after suffering a gruesome leg injury, there was every reason to think that his racing days were over. But Jerome was not just a champion on the track; he was doubly determined off it. And so began his climb to what his coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman, called “the greatest comeback in track and field history.”
Through years of unparalleled political turbulence, racial conflict and his own personal challenges, Harry Jerome kept his head down and ran, displaying strength of character and willful perseverance every bit as impressive as his record-setting athleticism.
Filmmaker Charles Officer uses gorgeous monochrome imagery, impassioned interviews and astonishing archival footage to tell the runner’s triumphant story, from his early days in North Vancouver, through his three Olympics and his unequalled streak of records, to his sudden and tragically premature death. Family, friends and teammates recall a man who forever changed the Canadian sports landscape and made an indelible mark upon the world.
Compelling, surprising and urgently paced, Mighty Jerome will electrify sports fans, history buffs and all those with an appreciation for tales of courage and redemption.