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Hurt

This screening took place on
Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 5:59pm
Yukon Arts Centre

Arguably the most tragic and volatile Canadian documentary this year, Hurt is a portrait of Steve Fonyo, who ran across Canada in 1985 after having lost his left leg to cancer.

At first denounced as a Terry Fox copycat and unable to generate many donations, it was an uphill battle until Steve ran past the spot where Terry Fox had been forced to stop. Suddenly publicity picked up, donations poured in and by the time he reached the Pacific Ocean, he had raised $13 million for cancer research and was named to the Order of Canada. But the next 30 years went straight downhill: a spiral of petty theft, larceny, and drug addiction, culminating in the revocation of Fonyo’s Order of Canada in 2010. Steve Fonyo today is a mass of contradictions. Spend a year in the world of this one-time hero and see how the run has nothing — and everything — to do with his life.

Three decades ago, Steve Fonyo, an 18-year-old who’d lost a leg to cancer, became both a national hero and the youngest recipient of the Order of Canada when he ran across the country to raise funds for research. His life since has been no fairy tale. Substance abuse, jail time, and the government’s decision to strip him of his Order of Canada left Fonyo publicly disgraced and forgotten. (The only attendee at an anniversary celebration of his epochal run was the cop who busted him.) Yet he soldiers on, eventually giving us glimpses of the teenager who had the perseverance to complete such a feat back in 1985. Though Fonyo’s story is transfixing, it is director Alan Zweig’s empathy and wit that lift this documentary to the level of contemporary classics like Crumb. Zweig (When Jews Were Funny, 15 Reasons to Live) shows us a Canada seldom seen onscreen — and rarely with such impact.
—Steve Gravestock, TIFF

Director in attendance.

Winner of ‘Platform Prize’ at TIFF 2015
Selected one of TIFF’s ‘Canada’s Top Ten’ for 2015.

  • Directed by Alan Zweig
  • 2015, British Columbia
  • 84 minutes
    Hurt

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