by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University
In biblical terms, Goshen is a place of good pastures. For centuries, the Copper Canyons of northwestern Mexico provided the indigenous Taraahumara people with food, exercise, and community support they needed to thrive. Protected from the outside world, these subsistence farmers shared a lifestyle that also contributed to their reputation as natural athletes and endurance runners. A simple diet of the tres hermanas (squash, corn, beans), along with days of chasing goats over the hills of the canyons, made this remote area one of the world's few "cold spots" for disease, with diabetes completely unknown. Now, climate change, drought, and famine have had a significant impact on this ancient culture. Interviews with researchers and runners who admire and want to protect the people, the land, and their traditions combine with striking photography and a New Age sound track to tell this timely and melancholy story. Footage of the graceful, colorfully dressed, and nearly barefooted Tarahumara in the act of running is a joy to see.
VERDICT Recommended for general audiences with an interest in the benefits and challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in an unhealthy world.
Filming location in the Copper Canyons, Mexico.