Directed by Greg Kohs
80 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
If one could be said to have sled dog racing in his blood, it would be Lance Mackey. Born to hardy “musher” parents—his mother used to race while Lance was in the womb—he watched his father, Dick Mackey, a co-founder of Alaska’s famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race, win the 1,200-mile trek in 1978. As he was preparing to match his father’s feat, he was stricken with throat cancer in 2001, forcing him to sideline his lifelong quest to master one of the most challenging races in the world. After surgery and radiation, he was able to resume his sled dog training, winning progressively harder races while always keeping his eyes on the Iditarod prize. Shot in 2013 on location during one of Lance’s Iditarod attempts, The Great Alone captures every bone-jarring bump and icy scrape Lance endured along the diabolically cruel route, while also flashing back to Lance’s childhood through archival footage and home movies made during his recovery. Viewers may almost feel the mind-numbing cold of Alaska’s icescapes, as viewed through director Greg Kohs’ keen documentarian eye, but they’ll never forget the warmth of Lance’s determination in one of the greatest, true underdog stories in mushing history.
– Description courtesy of the Seattle International Film Festival