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arts iu cinema

Academy Award-winning documentary 'Free Solo' to screen at the IU Cinema

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The Academy Award-winning documentary “Free Solo” will screen at 10 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the IU Cinema. 

The film follows the life of free soloist climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to climb El Capitan, the 3,200-foot Yosemite National Park cliff face, without a rope.

Unlike Honnold’s climb, the screening is not free. Tickets are $4 for IU students and $7 for non-students.

“The film is an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who challenges both his body and his beliefs on a quest to triumph over the impossible, revealing the personal toll of excellence,” IU Cinema’s website says about the film. 

“Free Solo” took home an award for Best Documentary Feature on Sunday evening at the 91st Academy Awards, edging out a variety of similarly acclaimed competitors. 

The film received widespread acclaim for its technical prowess, as well as how beautifully directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi captured the grandiosity of Honnold’s climb, said Jessica Davis Tagg, IU Cinema’s assistant director of events, facilities and guest services.

The movie holds a 98 percent positive critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb.

“The shots of Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan without a rope are unbelievable,” Tagg said. “Seeing the image on the big screen, with the sounds of Yosemite surrounding you, transport each member of the audience right there with him — from the safety of your own seat — in a way that cannot be duplicated in most living room setups.”

Honnold’s achievement, and the filmmaking that captured it, is a spectacle unlikely to be repeated, Tagg said.

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