One of the most admired cinematic experiences of recent decades was the wonderful film +"LawrenceofArabia" Directed by +DavidLean and starrring in the title role the fantastic +Peter O'Toole
The music, +cinematography, acting,design and location were sublime, so much so that the images and sound track are as fresh today as the day they were released.
Set in the 1st World War the story ranged over that area known as the +MiddleEast, a wild and beautiful part of the world which , sadly, is still in a state of great political and religious turmoil today.
Often in stories that reflect social upheaval the main concentration is on the heroes and the ones who were in some way responsible for bringing about peace or war. The small person, the peasant, the ordinary citizen, is quite often neglected and their plight ignored.
+TheSandrunners story is about one such peasant and set before our intrepid Lawrence began his adventures in the area of +Egypt. It centres on a young man, Yusuf, who is employed at one of the many tomb excavations in Egypt, a site that is under the supevision of an English +Egypytologist, Francis Wetherby.
Wetherby is also a member of the newly formed New Olympic Committee whose purpose is to hold the very first of the new Olympics in Athens,in the year of 1896, at the original site of the ancient games.
What brings this wealthy, educated and sophisticated Englishman and a young Egyptian boy together to create an Olympic Gold Medal winning athlete is the story. It also involves Egyptian Nationalism, Germany's secret plans to take over the Suez Canal, controlled by the British, Yusuf's plans to marry his childhood sweetheart Marelka and her family's opposition.
Complications are throw in Yusufs path as criminal charges are brought against Wetherby, he faces the class snobbery of the upper classes of Egypt and another complication of his own making is his insistance to run in the Marathon with his great pal, his small camel called +Suzy.
During the course of the story Yusuf has to embrace a concept which is totally alien to him, the idea of sport, to compete against others for the pure pleasure of it, an idea that was completely unknown in those times in that area. His situation forces his hand and exposes him to great danger.