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Free Solo (2018)Free Solo (2018)

A friend of mine who watched Free Solo said that it was the only movie he had ever watched that made him sweat. And with good reason! The documentary film tells the story of the rock climber Alex Honnold (born 1985), who on June 3, 2017 became the first and only person to make a free solo ascent (no ropes) of the 2,900-feet El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The climb took 3 hours and 56 minutes. The movie was made by National Geographic. It opened at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, and then went on to win the Oscar for the Best Documentary Feature Film in 2019. A drop-out of UC Berkeley, Honnold has lived in a van for about ten years, despite his more recent success and fame that has featured him on the likes of 60 Minutes. There are two interesting sub-plots in this movie in addition to the climb itself: the ethical and practical questions of the film director and his crew. They didn't want to interfere with the climb, nor did they want to film a disaster. And second, Honnold, who is an odd duck to say the least, struggles to maintain his single-minded focus on climbing while doing justice to his relationship with his girl friend Sanni McCandless. On Rotten Tomatoes Free Solo enjoys a rating of 99% based upon 135 reviews.

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