Free Solo


Rafael 1 Sat, Oct 6, 2018 12:00 PM
Sequoia 1 Mon, Oct 8, 2018 11:30 AM
Film Info
Category:Mind the Gap
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:97 min.
Director:Jimmy Chin
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer:Jimmy Chin
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Cinematographer:Jimmy Chin
Editor:Bob Eisenhardt
Cast:Alex Honnold
Print Source:National Geographic
Note Writer:Sterling Hedgpeth


Free climbing, the mountain climbing subculture which involves scaling sheer vertical walls without the use of ropes or harnesses, has one monolithic goal nobody has ever achieved: ascending the 3200-foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Sacramento native Alex Honnold wants to be the first, and so begins this hair-raising documentary as Alex trains methodically, analyzing every foot in a climb where death is always a fraction of an inch away. But what happens when, beset by injuries and relationship pressures, someone with such phenomenal focus starts to psych himself out? And how does a perfectionist find a semblance of normalcy in his life while still in the thrall of such a dangerous obsession? Using his support system of climber friends and a touch of gallows humor, Honnold must decide if he’s up to the challenge of accomplishing an unbelievable physical feat of mind-blowing intensity. What happens next, you’ll never forget.

Expected Guests: Filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, and subject Alex Honnold  (All Screenings)

Additional Information

E. Chai Vasarhelyi was raised in New York and studied at Princeton University. Her features include Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008), Touba (2013), Incorruptible (2015), and Meru (2015), co-directed with her husband, Jimmy Chin. Free Solo (2018) is her latest film.

Jimmy Chin is a Minnesota-born professional mountain climber, photographer, and filmmaker. His photography has been featured in National Geographic and Outside. He previously collaborated with his wife, E. Chai Vasarhelyi, on Meru (2015). Free Solo (2018) is his latest film.