'Fair Chase' to Debut at Film Festival

Examines evolution of running in humans

In 'Fair Chase,' Bethea tests whether or not humans can chase antelope by foot. (Fair Chase)

Writer Charles Bethea has spent the past few years examining whether a human being can hunt pronghorn antelope by chasing down the animals on foot. On Thursday, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, he’ll release his findings in the documentary Fair Chase.

The film portrays a race in New Mexico between a band of elite marathoners—from East Africa, Canada, and the United States—and the North American pronghorn antelope.

In a 2011 article for Outside, Bethea explored the theory of persistence hunting, which postulates that humans evolved as endurance runners as a means of chasing down prey. Humans, Bethea writes, are tailor-made for this pursuit because of legs built from slow-twitch fibers and the ability to perspire.

The film, which is making its world premier, will be screened at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art on Thursday and Saturday. For showtimes, click here.

More Adventure