I don’t know when I discovered Alex Honnold. What I know for sure is that I didn’t like it from the beginning. I found crazy everything he was doing. Who would be the fan of a climber who could die every moment during his climb because he is climbing without a rope? But, before starting to see how he is climbing (I was not brave enough for that), I started to listen or to read interviews with him.
Like in an attempt to try to understand what he is doing. And especially why he is doing all of these. And I discovered quite a normal guy who knows very well what he is doing. With fears and questions. And answers found through climbing.
Last week I was at the cinema to see Free Solo. The trailer transmitted me the idea that it will be that adrenaline type of movie that you will gonna watch fearfully between your fingers because you are super afraid that he will gonna fall. As scared as one of the cameramen who put the camera on the stand, fixed the perfect frame, and stayed most of the time with the back at the camera. Because he didn’t have the courage to look at all his crazy movements.
But Free Solo it is not completely an adrenaline movie (only a part of it). Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi managed in their special way, the same as in Meru, to tell a story. A story in the good National Geographic tradition. A story about the values that a climber or an outdoor person has. Friendship, trust, courage, joy, authenticity. The story of a person who learns to overcome his fears and to admit his limits.
Who learn to share his passion and craziness with others. A story about determination. The determination to fight for your dream despite the pressure, despite the accidents, despite the fears. The story of a guy who, despite his apparent craziness, knows very well what he is doing.
Free Solo, my dear, is that type of movie about me and you. About how would life be if we would assume our dreams and fight for them. If we would accept our wounds and try to heal them in our own and special ways. Like climbing. If we would accept our fears and try to learn to live with them and overcome them.