In front of me people run - some crying, some laughing. Screams, mumbles and whistles. We are at KineDok's first screening in Timisoara, where we show the documentary 'Ultra' - a film about ordinary people practicing the marathon as a hobby.
Something in the struggle of these people seems heroic to me. The reason they run and obey these torments is mysterious even for themselves. I turn around and curiously look at those beside me - concentrated faces mirroring the emotions of the
runners on screen - tension, sadness, joy, disappointment. We are in a small room of about 30 seats, sitting on wooden steps where pillows were arranged by Bogdan - the thoughtful owner of the Aethernativ, the hosts of our screening. A bouquet of flowers brought by Bogdan refreshes the air and mood. Concentrated in this small and friendly space, we all share the same emotion - we are glad and grieved in secret by the victories and failures of the runners who are exposed in front of us. When the movie ends, we breathe lightly as this is the end of our race. My left knee even hurts now, empathizing a little too much with the knees on the screen.
But things do not end here. This was just the beginning, because we have a debate with the evening guest - Razvan Farkas. Although extremely modest and a little shy, Razvan has participated in over 70 races with distances between 10 and 215 km (18 marathons, 2 ultra-24h races) and is due to take part in the European championships this month. With excitement, he tells us the most difficult and beautiful moments in his experience, what fair play and friendship mean in sports, how he asked his girlfriend to marry him after an exhausting marathon and how he managed to cross the finish line with his little girl on his shoulders.
The audience is diverse: other runners, joggers and people who don't do sports at all (this is I). We are all curious, however, and we want to find out more. How do you resist the pain? How do you keep your motivation? What are you thinking about when you run? And last but not least, why are you running? Razvan seems to have just stepped out of the film and answered all the questions we had about the characters. It's a unique immersion feeling in the reality of the movie that I just watched. The discussion extends until midnight and at the end I am almost convinced I should participate in a marathon.
After heated discussions, new friends, several coffees, lemonades and delicious teas prepared by Bogdan, we end our journey with an adventurous ride on the Bega, and we are splitting out of the beautiful Timisoara. But not for long. Because we like movies not to end in credits and because we want to meet the heroes and heroines among us, we rest a little and then go back to the road for the next stop on the KineDok map.
text by Monica Stan