Life on a tightrope

“Life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion: to refuse to tape yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge – and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope.” Philippe Petit

In 1974 Philippe Petit strung a wire between the Twin Towers and walked across it.

That’s right. He walked. On a wire. With no safety net. Between the Twin Towers. The mere idea of it makes me shiver with terror– I can’t even imagine someone wanting to actually do it! But he saw it as his destiny. He worked and planned and convinced people to help him until his dream came true.

Man on Wire is a documentary of his story. They go through from the spark of inspiration that made Philippe want to do this to the end, and it is a beautiful, beautiful story. He was so determined to walk that wire, no matter the cost… and he really had no clear reason for doing it. He just wanted to do something fun, adventurous,and beautiful. Watching his story unfold as he and his co-conspirators tell the tale is an intense viewing experience. You know he doesn’t fall since he’s clearly telling the story himself, but there’s still the breathless anticipation of what will happen once he’s up there.

For me, the most powerful moments were when his friend broke down and couldn’t continue talking. Thinking back on that day was so powerful for him, even this many years later.

If you want a thrilling documentary to watch, watch this one. I can promise you that it won’t be a waste of your time.

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