Tightrope walking across the Twin Towers

A British man attempts this feat in a documentary film being shown this weekend

Story by Matthew Rothschild, Staff Writer

“Man on Wire” is a 2008 British documentary film on the experience of Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York World Trade Center. “Man on Wire” is a very heist feeling movie whose title is taken from the police report done after his arrest.

A lot of Petit’s recollections in the movie show how they planned to pull off the tight rope stunt, which is told through interviews from those involved as well as footage and pictures taken during the years of the event’s planning.

For me the most memorable part of the film is at the beginning. Petit describes how he decided this was going to be his dream and how he was in a dentist office when he picked up a magazine announcing the construction of the towers.

He then took a pen and drew a line across the tower, announcing that it would be his dream. To keep the page he sneezes and tears the page to not get caught. He then leaves and for the next week deals with a toothache that he originally went to the dentist for.

The movie also holds several humorous scenes where he almost gets caught by security after sneaking into the towers, having to sit under a tarp in the cold waiting for the guard to leave, which sometimes would take hours.

The way Petit tells his story is inspiring.  His description of his past events is quite entertaining.  One of my favorite scenes he describes is when he stepped on a nail, forgetting the tower was a construction site, and has to get crutches. Instead of being defeated he uses it to his advantage.  He uses the crutches to get people to help him get into the tower, as no one would stop a man with crutches.

The only thing that might be off-putting for people going to watch this film is half of the people who were interviewed only speak French.

On Rotten Tomatoes the audience score rates the movie at 87 percent.

“A stuntman/performer dreams up a stunt impossible to ignore in the modern day world full of been there, done that,” Apeneck Fletcher, a Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, wrote for the site. “I wondered what’s the big deal, ‘a guy on a tightrope.’  But then the stunt itself … Jaw droppingly, utterly un-friggen-believable.”