Man on Wire

The Twin Towers existed for one purpose: to have Philippe Petit wire-walk between the two buildings 104 floors above the bustling New York streets. Petit, a daring Frenchman, saw an advertisement for the World Trade Center as it was being planned to build. He new right then and there that he had to achieve his goal. The only problem was that it was illegal, yet this did not stop him from what he was going to do. In the meantime waiting for the towers to be completed he practiced between the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. He drew the attention of hundreds as he walked, danced and relaxed on the thin wire above Paris and Sydney. He was immediately arrested both of these times. He knew the risk he was taking both with the law and the fact all there was in the air with him was the wire and the balancing stick. There was no new to protect him or any help standing by. This shows the about of concentration, trust and belief in himself that he could complete the task.

No matter what way this documentary had been filmed it would be powerful considered the events of 9/11. There is one scene where Petit is shown at the top of the towers on the wore and you can see a plane in the corner of the screen flying past the iconic towers that causes the viewer to momentarily hold their breath and send chills throughout the body. The interviews and still photographs make everything in the film resonant more and makes the viewer feel like they are actually there. They recreate many scenes of him traveling through Paris streets on his unicycle and when they are setting up everything on in the World Trade Center when they have to hide as the security guards are on high alert. Along with these, the actual footage and the interviews add so much with all seriousness and much humor. The interviews make you admire his reckless behavior, his outlook on life and his lack of fear. He says, before making the walk between the towers, that if he died that day it would be a great day to die because he is doing what he loves the most. He lived by his motto “Art for art’s sake.”

This event made him famous to the world. Shortly after he was arrested the charges were all dropped he received a permanent pass for the towers and began juggling in Central Park.


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