Man on Wire, 2005

Man on Wire, which was released in 2005, is a documentary about Philippe Petit’s high-wire walking experiences focusing on one specific walk. In 1974 he does the biggest wire walk of his life. His greatest love and greatest idea is to walk between the Twin Towers World Trade Center buildings in New York. This whole documentary is based off of Philippe Petit’s book To Reach The Clouds.

A reoccurring theme in the documentary is focus. An entertainer at heart, Philippe always had a vision and stuck with it until he conquered it. Riding around town on his unicycle, juggling items, and balancing himself and things on him, were just a few of his talents. Walking on wires became his biggest hobby. In the film the word “beautiful” is said a lot. Everything Philippe did and everything he saw was “beautiful” in his eyes.

Philippe Petit’s biggest task he set for himself was to talk across the Twin Towers on a wire. An example of his focus is shown when he is training in a safe setting near the woods. To train he tied a wire from two trees to give him the most realistic experience as possible before doing the real thing. While walking across the wire the look in Petit’s eyes was something that was truly beautiful. The passion, focus, and calmness, which this man possessed, were all being translated into his wire walking. A man from the United States who was helping him train said that he has never seen anything like this in his life. He was said that smiles a lot while setting everything up and was really friendly, but when he gets on the wire he is the most focus person that he has ever seen. Training outside between two trees Philippe realizes that he needs to factor in the wind that might be there being 1,300 feet off the ground. To help deal with this he asks his friends to shake the wire and have it wobble up, down, left, and right so that he will not be surprised with anything that comes his way. At his requests his friends did this. The amount of concentration and control that this man had shows the seriousness and passion he has about this hobby i.e. talent.

While being focused walking on the wire, he was also focused off the wire in preparation for his greatest walk. Philippe does everything in his power to prepare as well as he can for his big walk in New York. He builds models, draws sketches, pulls a team together and much more. He plans a byzantine plan to sneak into the Trade Center to execute his master plan.

Philippe Petit had a vision, determination and ultimately success.  He remains a role model and inspiration to many who want to focus and fulfill a dream.



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