Run time: 100 mins
This chronicle of reckless, outrageous human spirit is truly terrifying magic.
Co-directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi are both experienced climbers. Their skill gives Free Solo its intensity. The real credit lies in the sure palms of ambitious young climber Alex Honnold, boldly aiming to become the first to climb the 3,000ft sheer El Capitan Wall in Yosemite all by himself, with no equipment. As Alex commences his climb, he produces some of the most nail-biting cinema you will ever see.
Chin and his crew put themselves in precarious positions to get their footage and wrestle with the moral question of whether they should be filming it at all. Do they want to film their friend drop and die? Will their ever-present lense spoil Honnold’s concentration to rise or fall…
Not to give away the end of this jaw-to-the-floor study in courageous, foolhardy, human endeavour, he dies…? This ridiculous adventure naturally lends itself to being supremely cinematic. (Research Chris Coetsee) Anchored by being edge of the seat throughout, Honnold is both sane and nuts. Yes, beautiful documentary filmmaking at its best. There’s no sign of a boot, a rope, a flask of something warm or a stout stick. Do try this at home children.