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Man on Wire

Man On Wire is the dramatic retelling of Philippe Petit's daring, and illegal, scheme to walk the high-wire between New York's twin towers – the artistic crime of the 20th century

On 7th August 1974, a young Frenchman called Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire suspended between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings.  After an hour dancing on the wire, with no safety net or harness, he was arrested and thrown into an underground prison.  Until that moment no one but Petit and his team of accomplices, who had spent months planning their illegal 'coup' (as they referred to it amongst themselves) knew anything about it.

Born out of a dream and an idea, Petit and his team of accomplices spent eight months planning the execution of their ‘coup’ in the most intricate detail.  Like a team of professional bank robbers planning their most ambitious heist, the tasks they faced seemed virtually insurmountable: they would have to find a way to bypass the WTC’s security; to smuggle the wire and rigging equipment into the towers; to suspend the wire between the two towers; to secure the wire at the correct tension to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings; to rig it secretly by night – all without being caught.  Not to mention the walk itself …

James Marsh’s documentary brings Petit’s extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of all the co-conspirators who created the single, beautiful spectacle that became known as “the artistic crime of the century”.

Made in association with Red Box Films.

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