Free Solo

Screening on 27/09/19
Sponsored by Bar Unico

USA 2018
Dirs: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Cert 12A
99 mins

This visually staggering documentary on legendary climber Alex Honnold’s scaling of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley will have you gasping and possibly averting your eyes! The climb itself is mind-boggling enough, but there’s worse to come – he is doing it free solo, meaning without ropes or partners. Just one fragile human being against a granite monolith, his lithe and intricate manoeuvres breathtakingly captured by the vertiginous camerawork. For the obsessive Honnold the risks are worth taking “to feel perfect just for a moment”. He is stoical about the danger he faces and expects others to be so too. When his girlfriend tearfully refers to the widow of a fellow free soloist recently killed on an ascent, Honnold’s terse comment is simply: “Well, what did she expect?”