Man on Wire
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit performed an hour long high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. It was the fulfilment of a dream that was birthed in him as a child, when he saw a newspaper article talking about the possibility of building these two towers.
Man on Wire is a documentary and dramatised re-telling of Petit’s journey to, and the event itself. Based on Petit’s book To Reach the Clouds it plays out like a slowly building British heist film, interspersing dramatisations with archival footage to create a fascinating look at what has been called the artistic crime of the century.
Self taught in the art of wire walking, Petit gained notoriety and a minor criminal record practicing his passion first on Notre Dame de Paris then the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Twin Towers however would prove to be a much bigger undertaking, and as such the planning and execution matched that of any well-planned heist, with the exception of having no chance of not getting caught. On the police report, his crime is listed as Man on Wire, hence the title of the documentary.
Along with footage and dramatisation, the documentary is interspersed interviews of all the main players, and Petit himself plays a major part, naturally.
Man on Wire is one of those rare documentaries that brings the story to life, whilst being bale to show the real character behind the main player, the naturally talented and slighty quirky Philippe Petit.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Released on: May 20th, 2009
Year of Original Release: 2008
Length (Minutes): 94
Media Format: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Languages: English, French
Director: Marsh, James