“Man on Wire” is the extraordinary story of Philippe Petit, who thrilled the world in the summer of 1974 when he snuck to the top of the World Trade Center towers and performed the greatest high wire walk in history.
Told by Petit and those who helped make it happen, “Man on Wire” is both an adventure and achievement of singular beauty. Winner of Audience and Jury prizes at the Sundance and Full Frame film festivals and featured in the upcoming Tribeca and Edinburgh film festivals, “Man on Wire” will be released by Magnolia in August, 2008.
As a young wirewalker in France, Philippe Petit became fascinated by the as-yet unbuilt World Trade Center towers. He was determined to one day walk between them without a harness, without a net, 1350 feet above the ground. What started as an obsession eventually developed into an intricate plan, as Petit and a crack team of accomplices spent eight months developing a bold strategy for their secret mission.
Like professional bank robbers planning their most ambitious heist, the challenges they faced seemed insurmountable: bypassing WTC security, smuggling heavy equipment into and up the unfinished towers, somehow suspending and anchoring a wire between them all without being caught. And if somehow they succeeded, the true test still awaited: Petit stepping alone onto the wire, the awe-struck city watching from below, his daring dream now a breathtaking reality.
Combining thrilling enactments, candid interviews, and astonishing archival footage of the puckish Petit and his cohorts, director James Marsh fashions a rare documentary that transports, moves, and buoyantly entertains. “Man on Wire” is an exhilarating celebration of ingenuity and spectacle, and of the sky-high twin towers that captured the imagination.