Carl Boenish started a company promoting the BASE-jumping movement. He was passionate about skydiving and this interest leads him to even more dangerous foot-launched flights. Originally he was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft with a regular job. He started taking leaves of absences in order to film skydiving and cliff jumping. His first film was his 1978 leap from Yosemite’s El Capitan. He met Jean, they married and she also became a jumper. They started wearing cameras on their helmets to film their actual jumps. Carl and Jean made a record jump at Norway’s Troll Wall in 1984. Now jumpers wear wing suits when they do their jumps.
There is a mix of Carl’s 16mm archive footage, re-enactments and aerial photography to tell the story. According to Carl and Jean, it’s frightening before the jump is made but exhilarating during the jump and a safe feeling when the parachute opens. Even though every jump is planned and safety measures are taken there is still the possibility of human or mechanical failure. 3* (This movie is OK)
100 min, Doc/Bio directed by Marah Stauch with Cecilie Bull, Marah Strauch, John Long, Carl Boenisch, Jean Boenish, Rick Harrison, Jared Simmons.
Note: Imdb 6.8 out of 10, 91% critic 72% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2 ½*, Amazon 4.0* out of 5* with 16 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Norway. BASE-jumping stands for building, antenna, span or Earth (this means a cliff). It denotes the starting place of the jump. Carl broke his leg, he had a compound fracture and he didn’t’ have it set because he was a Christian Scientist. The leg caused him to be much slower walking to jump sites.