Sunshine Superman (Magnolia Pictures/CNN Films, PG)

Sunshine-Superman 75Even if adrenaline rushes and terrifying heights are not exactly your thing, I suggest watching Sunshine Superman.




Sunshine-Superman 500

Marah Strauch tells the true story of Carl Boenish, the father of BASE jumping, in her spectacular directing debut documentary, Sunshine Superman. Full of descriptive personal interviews as well as stunning footage, Sunshine Superman follows the life of Boenish and his passion for flying through the air. The film is this year’s Man on Wire, the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary about a tightrope walker, and definitely needs to be seen on a big screen.

Boenish started off as a skydiver and electrical engineer, only to give up his job to be able to focus on jumping fulltime. His love for cinematography made him always have a camera ready and rolling, which also contributed with striking footage for this film as he was always equipped with cameras on each of the jumpers’ helmets. The striking footage included in this documentary will definitely give you one of the two: an unstoppable want to skydive, or a nervous feeling if you’re scared of heights or extreme sports.

With his partners in crime, such as his best friends and his nerdy yet brave wife Jean (all massive adrenaline junkies, of course), he started jumping off skyscrapers in Los Angeles, which at that time was on the edge between being legal and illegal. There were no laws against it exactly, no one had done it before, but the cities and their police departments certainly did not like people breaking and entering onto dangerous construction sites of skyscrapers just to leap off the top floor and drift above the whole city. They cliff dived at the Yosemite National Park as well as the El Capitan Canyon, and park rangers often chased them out or arrested them because they didn’t find their practice safe.

In the end there is a mesmerizing closing sequence of modern BASE jumpers flying above the huge rock walls of the Yosemite National Park in California wearing winged jump suits. Even if adrenaline rushes and terrifying heights are not exactly your thing, I suggest watching Sunshine Superman to at least see the remarkable bird eye shots of our land (from the comfort of feeling the ground below your feet of course). You will not be disappointed. | Lea Vrábelová

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