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The story of 13-year-old Mimi (Santo Polimeno), who achieves earthly ecstasy whenever he is running... and always in bare feet, like his hero, the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the Olympic marathon in 1960, when this story is set. Mimi's own ambition is to participate in the youth race in Rome, despite the firm opposition of his gruff and slightly insane father who thinks running at all is a time-waster and beats his son to prove the point.