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This is the genuinely entertaining tale of French wirewalker Philippe Petit, who in 1974, commited an astonishingly audacious act when he managed to get a wire across the roofs of the World Trade Centre, New York, and walked across it several times.  The act was of course illegal, but it amazed and delighted people so much that the punishment taken against Petit was incredibly minor (in fact, he became an instant celebrity)!

This film charts the whole event, from the first idea of it, to the actual carrying out of it (for which Phillipe and his team had to carry out acts of subterfuge and deception).  The story is told by Phillipe himself, and the friends who helped him. Phillipe is an engaging and excitable narrator, and the footage taken from the actual events is fascinating.  Even though we know that he carried out the wirewalking extremely well (he is after all narrating the story, so we know that he survived it!) there are still some genuinely heartstopping moments when you see him step out onto the wire.

It wasn’t the first time he had done such a thing – he wirewalked across Notre Dame, and over the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and these events are covered in the story.

Phillipe appears to feel when he is on the wire, whether it be his practice wire, or during any one of his daring acts.  He displays more ease and elegance than many people do on the ground!

All in all, this is a fascinating tale of an audacious, outrageous and simply brilliant performance – well worth watching.

Year of release: 2008

Director: James Marsh

Writer: Philippe Petit (book)

Main cast: Philippe Petit, Jean Francois Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

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