A stunning new documentary produced by National Geographic, Free Solo, will be shown at the Woods Hole Public Library on Monday, March 18 at 7 PM and again on Wednesday, March 20 at 3 PM. The film features the rock-climber Alex Honnold as he attempts a life-long dream of climbing Yosemite’s 3,200’ rock face El Capitan in a free solo, that is, with no safety lines, no hardware, and all alone. The film has been called “a heart-stopping account of an ostensibly impossible endeavor.”
National Geographic has featured the climb in its February magazine in dramatic still photographs, but evidently watching the film is incredibly more exciting and frightening. The magazine gives a hint of how difficult the actual filming was, as the cameramen also scaled the face of El Capitan, albeit with safety lines.
The scenery and grandeur of the Yosemite Valley, the heart of our first National Park, provides a stunning back-drop for this climb.
The directors are a couple: the wife is not a climber at all, the husband is an elite climber. They have previously created another climbing film together: Meru, which documents a technical climb in a mountaineering expedition on the peak of the same name in the Indian Himalayas. This new film is even more stunning. After the film was ordered for the Library screening, it was nominated for Best Documentary in this year’s Academy Awards. And it won!