FREE SOLO

There have been a lot of mountaineering movies that I’ve seen in the past.
Reach. Give yourself a gentle pat on the back. Having said that, if you haven’t seen Alex Honnold climb up the one-mile vertical wall of El Capitan without the use of any safety lines, you haven’t seen anything yet. Even the slightest error sends him directly to his death, and witnessing this is a physically exhausting experience.

Is it more than just a parody of Discovery TV programming, or is it something more?

Not to diminish the incredible footage of Alex’s life-threatening exploits, but “Free Solo” is also a nuanced portrait of a man who stands out from the crowd in many ways. He is physically incapable of being scared, and he is targeted in a way that few others are. So, what happens when he unexpectedly acquires a boyfriend to take into consideration? Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s documentary, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary, brilliantly illustrates the conflict that exists between performance and human relationships.

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