By Amy Houston | Reporter

February 23, 2022 | 2 min read

Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia has released a trailer for its upcoming documentary film exploring the connection between Black British history and the River Thames.

‘Run to the Source’ spotlights the journey of Martin Johnson, a trail run ambassador for Patagonia, as he embarks on his most challenging run to date, attempting to set a new time for the 184-mile Thames path.

What began as an ambitious record-breaking attempt turned into a journey of discovery about his own history and the relationship between Black people and the London river.

“Exploring the outdoors is enriching physically, emotionally and socially, but history has created inequality and barriers, which combine to prevent many people of color from forming relationships with the outdoors or even discovering it at all,” said Johnson.

“I hope ‘Run to the Source‘ might prompt viewers to seek out some of the lesser-known and shared histories of the lands around us, which have shaped our societies and the layers of privilege which exist within them.”

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‘Run to the Source‘ is intertwined with archive footage contextualizing the experience of being Black in Britain over the past century. “Martin‘s journey embodies a struggle, a movement, a progression,” added director Matt Kay.

“The film does not just focus on the question of whether he will beat the fastest known time, but documents Martin’s discovery process as he finds out about Black British history and how it relates to the outdoors. Through his connection to the river, love of running and hunger for knowledge, we learn both why he feels so linked to the outdoors and why, by default, many Black and Brown people feel so alienated from it.”

The inspiring film premiered in London on February 16 and will go live on Patagonia’s YouTube channel later today.

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