… is Man On Wire, the extraordinary documentary about Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked a wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974. It’s exciting, emotional and — even though we know the ending — breathlessly tense as Petit and his gang plot the most audacious performance artwork in history.
It’s also a riveting and complex character study — an exemplar of the knowing vs. knowing about debate below — of a man driven by conflicting emotions of fame, danger and desire. And it’s a film of extraordinary beauty, both physically and emotionally: a true story of great love, great daring and great sacrifice. Watching Petit’s associates moved to tears by their memories is a humbling feeling: how many of us will create anything that can provoke such storms of feeling almost forty years on?
The film is a masterclass in suspense, plunging us straight into the story and interweaving Petit’s background with a perfectly constructed heist movie, studded with bizarre chararacters and twists. It’s inspiring, exhilarating work, the best film of the summer so far.