Opening 22 Oct 2015
Writing credits: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne, Philippe Petit
Principal actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale
Try to imagine what the twin Towers of the World Trade Center looked like. Now try to imagine taking a tight rope and walking across it. And that is just what Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) did in 1974. With that illegal performance he made history, never to be repeated, since those buildings no longer exist.
This film follows the history of Phillip Petit’s life as he started out as a young boy, how he came up with the idea, how he developed the plan and who helped him develop his skills to accomplish this highly dangerous feat. Three people supported him in different ways. His girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon), who also was a street artist, supported this crazy idea and believed in him. The circus director and highly talented tight-rope walker Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) taught him every trick he knew and then some. The third person was his photographer Jean Pierre (James Badge Dale) who helped him set up the lines and made him famous with his photos.
Based on Philippe Petit’s book To Reach the Clouds, the computer graphics used to recreate this story give it a highly realistic look but with a dreamy atmosphere while French music plays in the background. We, the audience, also watch this with awe as we are jetted back to this moment of achievement and, despite it being an illegal event we all feel that it was a moment in time, celebrating freedom. This is quite a contrast to the 911 events that followed years later. This film reminds us of a time when our society was not full of fear and paranoia but of hope and dreams. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)