Free Solo is the story of one man's quest to be the first person to climb El Capitan, which is 3,000 feet from base to summit, without any ropes or safety equipment.
It's just him and the mountain. The only thing keeping him on the granite as he climbs is his sheer will power and some tiny, often times imperceptible cracks. Watching him pull himself up and cling to the rock with nothing below him except air is incredibly surreal.
I've watched this film three times, and I could easily watch it again, with just as much reverence and awe as the first time. This is the kind of story that makes you question the limits of potential. We are all told we are capable of so much more than we know. And if we pushed those limits, what would we find?
As you look at the photo below, keep in mind there is nothing supporting him. If he slips, he's going to free fall to his death. He got himself up there by his own physical and mental strength, and only he can ensure he gets down safely.
It's incredible what we can each truly do. Which isn't to say you would or could do this - but you have your own personal version of free climbing El Capitan, and only you know what it is. And you will climb it, by sheer will and inner strength, as soon as you too believe that you can.
It's hard to explain just how powerful the images in this movie are. The scenery is breathtaking. The heights are dizzying. And the feat being accomplished will make you gasp and sit on the edge of your seat.
It isn't just the climb that's incredible. The team assembled to film this did so in such a way that you'll feel as if you're there. They got us in there, without ever being in the way of Alex. In several shots of the movie, you see the cameramen and just how precarious their situations were as well. To film this was an extraordinary accomplishment in itself.
It's no surprise this film took home this year's Oscar for best documentary.
Last night, I rented this and showed it to my family. I loved showing this to my nieces and nephew, and seeing them get inspired by it also. I loved feeling that energetic rush of knowing I just witnessed something powerful and ground breaking.
When you get a chance, check out Free Solo. It's currently available to rent, and might even still be showing somewhere near you. You can find a list of current showings here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/films/free-solo/screenings