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Free Solo

Live beyond fear.

Free Solo opens with climber Alex Honnold’s heavy breathing loudly keeping time as he winds his way up a long, narrow crack in California’s Yosemite National Park, the centre of the rock-climbing universe. The camera pans out, and we realize, stomachs churning, that our hero is more than 1,000 feet off the ground, free-soloing with no ropes, hard at work on the wall that has taunted and beckoned him for years: El Capitan, 3,000 feet of sheer granite. It’s an unthinkable dream.

Free Solo, a documentary directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and pro climber Jimmy Chin, the married duo behind 2015’s Meru, is a masterful and intimate character portrait of a climber most of the world doesn’t quite know what to do with. Despite scads of media coverage over the past decade or so threatening to make him too familiar a subject, Honnold offers us here a deeper glimpse into one man’s pursuit of perfection than he ever has before.

Whether you care about climbing or not, you’ll appreciate this tale of passion, discipline and, ultimately, transcendence. One incredible climb for one athlete, one quantum leap for mankind.

Rating: 4 out of 4

Courtesy: Katherine Laidlaw, Globe and Mail

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Directed by: 
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Running Time: 
Official site: 
PG - Some Scary Scenes
Language May Offend
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