in about 100 words or less
US 96m, Colour
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin; Cast: Alex Honnold, Sanni McCandless, Jimmy Chin, Tommy Caldwell
Free Solo is a spectacular documentary film about Alex Honnold’s breathtaking climb of El Capitan in 2017. Arguably the most remarkable achievement in the history of climbing, Honnold completed the climb without the aid of any ropes or protective gear. His ascent up the 3300 foot Freerider route on the famed Yosemite mountain face in under four hours was not only an extraordinary physical feat, but also a mental challenge like no other. Additionally, the filmmakers realized that their very presence would likely add to the difficulty of Alex’s undertaking, and potentially contribute to their friend’s demise. In this respect, Free Solo is a fascinating exploration of Honnold’s mind, motivation and his ability to control fear, the latter of which was undoubtedly the single most important element to his success (Klaus Ming February 2019).