Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seymour Rifkind Responds

Earlier I posted a review of "135 Days to Badwater" Today, I received a note from the movie's creator and star. With his permission, I am posting that here. I want this to be a a fair and open review:


I wanted to drop you a note on what I thought was a very fair review of my film. 135Days to Badwater was not produced professionally and as you stated in your review much of the footage was simply spliced with editing and voice over later done in a professional studio. The film has no comparison to the two other professional films you reviewed. (which I enjoyed very much) I ran that course to help raise awareness and funds for two charities in Chicago that help abused/homeless children. The film was an after thought since I didn't raise as much money as I had hoped (too busy training and not promoting) and this was and continues to be a way to help those charities.

As you stated, my intent was to showcase the solo and perhaps go into a little more depth on the training one athlete did to prepare. As a member of the list, training seems to be a question that comes up often so I was hoping to distinguish my film from the others by going into more detail on the importance of the crew and at least my training regimen. I certainly respect your opinion both on the film review and many of the posts you've made on the list, but "my philosophy" is certainly more than meditation and if you got the impression it was new age I probably didn't do as good a job as I had hoped since I've been practicing (living within the pyramid) daily for over 40 years long before there was even a term "new age".

Lastly, I need to clarify your main point of my father's concentration camp experience and the Badwater run. There is no way I would ever try and compare the death marches that so many jewish citizens perished in to a voluntary run in Death Valley. As you stated so well there is simply no comparison. My father has been a tremendous influence in my life and I love him deeply. He shared his horrifying experience with me as a child on a regular basis. In my imagination I often wondered what it was like and if I would have been able to survive the death marches. As you know, Ultra runners often go through very deep despair, pain, hallucinations etc. during a run. During those times my mind often wandered off to my father and the pain he must have experienced. Obviously, I could never actually experience what my father went through nor would I want to, but I did think and imagine what it must have been like and that helped push me through a number of difficult periods. So more than anything I used my fathers experience and being his son as motivation to push through the pain every runner goes through. That's what I was trying to convey. I didn't realize it at the time but I suffered a stress fracture to my pelvis at mile 90. Again, I respect your opinions and thought most of your critique was right on. I hope I helped clarify the role my father and his holocaust experience provided.


seymour rifkind

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