Man on Wire a Thrilling Act

Reliving a time when the Towers weren't depressing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2008 5:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Frenchman's daring high-wire walk between the Twin Towers nearly 35 years ago is chronicled in a documentary that feels "like a real-life heist picture," Dana Stevens writes in Slate. Man on Wire recounts Philippe Petit's 6-plus years of planning, his procurement of equipment and fake IDs, and shows the two stoned accomplices who weep as they recall the historic stunt.

When police arrested Philippe Petit and asked him why he did it, he replied, “There is no why.” Wire is content with his answer; it looks mostly at the how, but also unveils the "artistic monomania" of a man who bedded a groupie hours after his girlfriend watched him walk the wire. In the end, "Man on Wire's insistence on the lyrical beauty of Petit's art" may leave questions unanswered, but to see him "on that wire is to forgive all."