Philippe Petit: Man on Wire

Man on WireI just watched this brilliant documentary, directed by James Marsh, called Man on Wire. I’ve known about it for quite a while now (maybe 2 years), but it has taken me until now to finally bring it into my life. I’d probably still be putting it off were I not to come across it at the local library.

Man on Wire is the story of Philippe Petit’s courageous and illegal wire dance between the World Trade Center towers. It covers the duration between Petit’s infection with this bold plan, up to his pulling it off on August 7th, 1974.

The documentary does a great job of cutting between two time-lines, both of which build the suspense and end in Petit’s climactic wire walk. One time-line follows his early passion for tight-rope walking, and some of his first big feats. These include high wire walking between the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral and walking between two pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. This story line culminates with his plans to walk between the WTC towers. The second time-line, which is inter-cut with the first, starts much closer to the actual date of his WTC wire walk. It goes through the tension filled details of pulling off the plan, up until the moment of Petit’s stunning wire walk.

This thrilling documentary brings to life the limitless possibilities of human passion in action. It amazes me how one can overcome the fear involved in such a daring act. How one can bring so much focus to the moment, and shut out the panic that would lead most to certain death. Man on Wire will remind you that you can make your dreams come true. With enough passion, obsession, and well thought action, just about anything is possible. I mean, we’ve put people on the moon, right?

This is just an all around great documentary and story. I definitely recommend it! If you don’t trust my judgment, it did win the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and an Academy Award for Best Documentary. So just check it out here.

What vision are you going to make come true?

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