The Last Kilometer Film Review

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Last Kilometer is a documentary film featuring Davide Rebellin and Ignazio Moser, two riders with over 20 years of age in between them. It also features press room legend Gianni Mura, sometimes known as one of the few journalists to still use a typewriter but hopefully better known for his prose and knowledge.

The film opens with Mura giving his sweeping take on the sport, how it has lost its romantic aspect and lamenting the way riders are too cold-blooded. He cites Cadel Evans but praises him for the times he abandoned the security, for example his Mendrisio world championship ride.

We also meet the Mosers. The documentary follows Ignazio, the son of Francesco. Francesco was one of the best riders in the 70s and early 80s and more than the Cancellara of his day as he was able to win the Giro once and was an elegant rider on the bike. But the film shows another side as the first shot of Moser is the inelegant image of him in overalls working an earth mover to grub up some of his vines. The Moser thread in the documentary is essentially one of Ignazio trying to escape his father’s shadow. Only Ignazio’s middle name seems to be “son of Francesco” everywhere he goes.

Another character is Davide Rebellin and the tale of his highs and lows, from Olympic medals to doping scandals. It’s the ordinary life that stands out as he’s interviewed in his Monaco flat queues outside a sandwich shop or goes training behind his father’s car. We also meet Herr Dieter Senft, better known as Didi The Devil. Yes he’s mad but he’s also the hidden expression of fanaticism in all cycling fans who yearn to stand beside the roads, to cheer the riders with a passion but without blocking their path. I won’t spoil the scenes but never knew he was a former international racer.

The subtitles need subbing. It’s an Italian documentary and the subtitle track isn’t perfect, for example translating correre which means “to race” as “to run” so we have Ignazio Moser saying “I run tomorrow” only he’s not doing some cross-training. The same for a post-race scene where Moser’s DS (ex-pro Marco Milesi) is berating him for “not sprinting” in the subtitles but actually he means an attack. But I’ve told the producers about this and apparently it’s going to be changed.

Conclusion
An enjoyable hour especially as it shows sides of cycling you don’t see, the quotidian training and scenes from amateur racing as Moser tries to land a big win, whether at home or in the sun-baked U23 Paris-Roubaix. There are no wooden quotes and formulaic phrases here, all the characters are open and personal in front of the camera. Rebellin comes across as one of those characters so deep in cycling he can’t do anything else whilst Moser contemplates his options.

But it’s only an hour. The film only skims the surface, it ends just as soon as you’ve got a look at the characters. For example Mura gives his take on the sport but is out for the rest of the film. If anything I wondered about the idea of a small film crew following these characters all season long and producing a weekly documentary, a sort of reality soap opera that tracks the triumphs, challenges and stories of everyday life in the style of Booker Sim and Joseph Finkleman’s “Beyond the Peloton” series.

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{ 11 comments }

wiganwill December 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

“For example Mura gives his take on the sport but it out for the rest of the film”. Is this one of the subtitles?

The Inner Ring December 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Fixed, thanks, and with more ease than a subtitle track.

Terri Thater December 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

What role does Cadel Evans play in it?

The Inner Ring December 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

A very small one!

Alex222 December 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Does seem a strange editorial decision to limit it to the one hour. Fire in Babylon, the cricket documentary, is an hour and a half. Whilst the Senna doc is even longer. Makes me wonder whether it’s really worth buying if as you say it only really scratches the surface.

Larry T. December 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Still waiting for my disc to arrive. They’re not “sprinting” to get it to the frozen plains of Iowa I guess, but I hope it shows up before we head back to Italy next month?

TheDude December 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Yes, I ordered mine it seems over a month ago and no sign of it. If not in my possession by January 2013 I will call my credit card company to cancel the payment. Hope it is not a scam.

OllieT December 17, 2012 at 12:49 am

When you say “two riders with over 20 years of age in between them” do you mean 20 years of experience or are they both only 10 years of age? :)

Kenny December 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

I think he means that they have a twenty year plus age gap between them. Not that they share the age but that the gap is between them. You know, from one to the other. So if one was 10 the other would be 31 or more. Or if one was 22 the other would be 53 or more… Should I go on?

The Inner Ring December 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

Yes, Rebellin was born in 1971, Moser in 1992.

Alberto Cravero January 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hello, I’m form the film production staff.
1st we really would like to thank inrng.com for the review.
2nd, we inform you that subtitles have already been fixed on NTSC dvds (and they will be soon fixed on PAL version too!).
3rd, we apologize for the delay regarding some of the first shipments (i.e. Larry T, The Dude). If you didn’t receive the film yet, please write to info@thelastkilometer.com and we’ll solve your problem.

Thank again
Stuffilm Creativeye
“The Last Kilometer” film production

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