In January, 2015, American rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson captivated the world with their effort to climb the Dawn Wall, a seemingly impossible 3,000 foot rock face in Yosemite National Park, California. The pair lived on the sheer vertical cliff for weeks, igniting a frenzy of global media attention. But for Tommy Caldwell, the Dawn Wall was much more than just a climb. It was the culmination of a lifetime defined by overcoming obstacles. At the age of 22, the climbing prodigy was taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan. Shortly after, he lost his index finger in an accident, but resolved to come back stronger. When his marriage fell apart, he escaped the pain by fixating on the extraordinary goal of free climbing the Dawn Wall. Blurring the line between dedication and obsession, Caldwell and his partner Jorgeson spend six years meticulously plotting and practicing their route. On the final attempt, with the world watching, Caldwell is faced with a moment of truth. Should he abandon his partner to fulfill his ultimate dream, or risk his own success for the sake of their friendship?
. In the middle of Yosemite National Park towers El Capitan, a huge block of granite whose smoothest side, the Dawn Wall, is said to be the most difficult rock climb in the world. Tommy Caldwell didn’t see inhospitable terrain, but rather a puzzle almost a kilometer tall. In The Dawn Wall, we follow him and Kevin Jorgeson in their historic ascent to the summit.. The Dawn Wall Wiki
No words. Like someone said.. this wouldn’t be possible today.. with all those child services and stuff. I think we should start thinking about going backwards.. this is even harder :)
I was mesmerized by this film. Scaling the Dawn Wall is inconceivable to me. How long this attempt took was portrayed perfectly on screen. I experienced every callous, every slip, every set back (on the wall or in life) like it was mine. Bravo.
This film is every genre at once. Thriller, action, nature, sport, documentary, drama, love story... it also tells stories of family, friendship and the journey into one's self. That it's a true story just raises the stakes at every beautiful frame. It's inspiring in the most profound sense. Any room with any combination of tastes can watch this together and be blown away. I'll shut up now... just watch it.
Just like all climbing movies. Nothing new.
The Dawn Wall does a masterful job of showing the unbelievably difficult task that climbing it actually is, even for two of the top climbers in the world... while also telling the story of Tommy Caldwell and the roots and costs of his obsession. This film and what it shows about Tommy's commitment to people in his personal and professional life - and the crossovers between them - is an interesting contrast to Free Solo and Alex Honnold's apparent approach to the world.