March 25: Birdmen (#25)

Day 25 of #DocuMarch: we take to the skies! It's hard to believe these guys are actually able to achieve flight considering how massive their balls must be, but wingsuit-flying is here to stay, and as evidenced in Birdmen: it's only getting more awesome (and wayyyy more dangerous) with each flight. 

(similar to #DocuMarch day 13, if you're afraid of heights... stop reading & watch this instead.) 

Birdmen follows wing-suit professionals Matt Gerdes and Mike Steen as they hurl themselves off cliffs, zooming past jagged mountain ridges at ~150mph. That's a hell of a lot faster than my scooter can travel just in case you were trying to draw a comparison between how badass I am next to these guys.

Filmed mostly in the Dolomites of Italy and the Alps of France & Switzerland, the exact locations were kept secret as to not "annoy the wingsuit community," as they say. Not that you'll care about that when you're having your mind melted & palms sweating.

Flying head first, they look more like X-Men than mere humans, and that’s the beauty of this otherwise suicidal-looking pursuit. Wingsuit flying is more than just another extreme sport; it’s at the bleeding edge of our species’ centuries-old desire to fly.
— Kasia Cielplak-Mayr Von Baldegg, TheAtlantic.com

THOUGHTS

This was an easy one (apologies, of course) to love considering I've always been crazy about doing stupid/extreme things. Sadly, the older I get the more afraid I become of heights, but I think that's only because I feel more fallible and vulnerable to the world around me. The cool thing about this documentary was how the wing-suit pilots give the viewer a greater sense of the sport and steer us away from thinking anyone who does this stuff is just a crazy, thrill-seeking idiot. 

These guys are athletes, and they've dedicated their lives (literally) to their craft. Not only just their bodies... but they clearly need to be pretty good with geometry to know how far/fast/high/low they're actually able to go!

TL;DR

Wing-suit pilots take you to extremely beautiful places around the world while explaining that they're not all just crazy thrill-seekers.

4 of 5 Stars!

Onwards,
--Justin