Reel NW/Mighty Jerome
- Reel NW
About the Film
"Mighty Jerome” recounts the rise, fall, and redemption of Canadian athlete Harry Jerome. One of Canada’s most promising track stars at the age of 19, Jerome was sidelined in the 1960 Olympic Games due to injury. After another injury led doctors to predict he would never compete again, Jerome finally returned to victory in what his coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman of the University of Oregon, called the "greatest comeback in track and field history."
In 1959, at just 19 years of age, Harry Jerome was on his way to the Olympics in Rome. By 1962, after suffering a gruesome leg injury, there was every reason to think that his racing days were over. But Jerome was not just a champion on the track; he was doubly determined off it. And so began his climb to what his coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman of the University of Oregon, called “the greatest comeback in track and field history.”
Through years of political turbulence, racial conflict, and his own personal challenges, Harry Jerome kept his head down and ran, displaying strength of character and willful perseverance that was as impressive as his record-setting athleticism.
Filmmaker Charles Officer uses monochrome imagery, interviews, and archival footage to tell the runner’s triumphant story, from his early days in North Vancouver, through his three Olympics and his unequaled streak of records, to his sudden and tragically premature death. Family, friends and teammates recall a man who forever changed the Canadian sports landscape and made an indelible mark upon the world. Compelling, surprising, and urgently paced, "Mighty Jerome" will electrify sports fans, history buffs, and all those with an appreciation for tales of courage and redemption.
About the Filmmaker
Charles Officer grew up in Toronto. He made his first short film, “When Morning Comes,” in 2000. The film debuted to great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Soon, through his participation in the Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, he made a second film, “Short Hymn_Silent War,” which received a Special Jury Citation at TIFF and a Genie nomination (the Canadian equivalent of an Oscar nomination). His first feature film, “Nurse.Fighter.Boy,” premiered at the 2008 TIFF. The film garnered 10 nominations at the Genie Awards. Officer was named one of “Ten to Watch” by Playback magazine, and he was the recipient of the 2009 Ontario Premier’s Emerging Artist Award. “Mighty Jerome,” his film about Canadian track star Harry Jerome, premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2010. Officer is currently at work on a new feature, a crime thriller titled "Akilla’s Escape."
Originally aired on KCTS 9 in season 2 of Reel NW
This is a re-broadcast of a season 2 Reel NW feature. Mighty Jerome was the winner of 2012 Northwest regional Emmy Award for best historical documentary.