Man on Wire

jury selection


Fantastic look at a man trying to achieve a personal goal; no matter the consequences.  On August 7, 1974 (8 years before I was born), Phillipe Petit crossed the gap between the World Trade Center. This documentary shows trials and tribulations of the impossible task with the people involved and spectacular videos of his test runs and previous feats.

The hardest part of liking this documentary though was Mr. Petit. He seems a bit of a megalomaniac at times and the ending of the movie is somewhat bittersweet.

However, the reenactments of setting up the wires and getting set-up the night before was amazing. The director turns a documentary about a tightrope walker into a heist movie with espionage and deception. The interviews with so many people who had at least some connection to the event made it seem as if nothing like this could ever have been done. A majority of the other voices expressed great unsureness with the task, which only adds to the trill of the “heist”.

Petit’s friend Jean-Louis really brings out the best in the story. His unique perspective as a close friend to Petit explores the man behind the wirewalking. As one part of the movie explores, Jean-Louis becomes involved because he believes in his friend and wants to ensure his safety. Many of the other people were in it for the experience and the exhilaration of breaking the law with a “trick”.

But in the end, the idea that anything you can image is possible and to not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something are fantastical.

3.5 stars/4

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