A documentary about pushing yourself to the point of no return sounds interesting. Somehow in this case it isn’t. It is an examinations of adrenaline junkies and what pushes them to do what they do. Risk their lives in the pursuit of a thrill. You think this would have you on the edge of your seat, but it is a snooze. On the dull side because the film goes more for the spiritual side of this pursuit rather than the purely physical.
An aspect of the documentary that is riveting are the visuals. The cinematography is awesome! Beautiful images of nature (snow, mountains, trees) which helps to accentuate the danger being undertook.
Filmmaker Toa Fraser (directed one episode of Penny Dreadful) introduces us (most of us) to New Zealand Olympic freestyle skier Jossi Wells and how despite all his accomplishments in his sport he is not a happy or satisfied man. Already in his life he has done things that would fighten off most of us. In attempting these things he has injured himself (almost to the point of paralysis) and yet he still feels like he is a victim of fear. Wells wants to push himself to do something that will make him feel completely free. It becomes apparent that to do so he will have to risk his life.
To accomplish this Wells teams up with an extreme sports performance artists, The Flying Frenchies. This French group attempts all sorts of extreme stunts from great heights and often without a safety harness. Wells, with only a few days of training, sets about first slacklining between trees and then highlining on mountaintops. The question is why?
It is explained that the reason these people pursue such extreme things is to achieve the sensation of complete freedom. To completely conquer fear. The question is posed as to whether the risk is worth the result. Nothing really ground-breaking comes out of this.
-The Story Behind The Free Man
-Who Are The Flying Frenchies?