Sunday, July 3, 2011


Finally caught this 2008 documentary that a lot of my friends were raving about and can see why.What an extraordinary story.

In case you didn't see it or don't remember it's about Phillipe Petit's walking a tightrope between the twin towers in the summer of 1974. Only he didn't just walk it, he laid down on it, knelt on it, went back and forth on it, or as one cop witness said later, "danced on it."

It's an incredibly moving experience to watch this film as it had to have been an even more incredible feat to witness live. The emotions still run deep among those closest to Petit when they talk about the actual event, and the viewer can get a taste of that too. I found myself grinning from ear to ear while at the same time tears came to my eyes.

How delightful to be reminded now and then, especially in times that seem so frustratingly bleak in so many ways to so many people (though this has often been true for most times if you perceive it that way), of the amazing capacity of humans, at least some of us, for what can only be described as the miraculous.

That the man was willing to even attempt such a daredevil feat, let alone not only pull it off but playfully, is a tribute to the human spirit!

Phillipe Petit, as others must have observed already I'm sure, paid the highest tribute to those lost in the 9/11 tragedy when he walked between those now long gone towers as they were being completed, up there in the air, almost too high to even see! And just for the pure joy and adventure of it.
[The shot immediately above is of Petit lying down on the wire he's crossing between the tops of the twin towers! And the one at the beginning of this post is him smiling as he walks in the air so high above Manhattan!]


harryn said...

a beautiful metaphor for what most of us have been doing since 911 - after the Bush Regime policy'd fear into our culture ...

tpw said...

You should check out Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

He also traversed a wire strung between two low structures in the French countryside. He referred to the locals as "crazy...but Good Crazy."