Monday, October 4, 2021

The Rescue (2021) - 2021 LAAPFF Documentary Review

The Documentary: The Rescue

The Directors: E. Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin

The Story: Chronicles the story of the Wild Boars youth soccer team who got trapped and their dramatic 2018 rescue.

The Review:
I remember back in 2018 when this story was unfolding on the news. I'll admit, it wasn't something I was glued to the news and media sites for the latest updates but I was very aware of what was happening and celebrated with everyone else as word came out of the successful rescue. I really didn't know the extent of the efforts what were put into rescuing this group of young boys and how people literally came from all over the world to make a contribution however they could.

Directors Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi are both Academy award winning filmmakers for Free Solo, a project they also worked together on so I was pretty confident in their ability to create a compelling story and a worthy document of not just the heroics, but the struggles involved in completing this near impossible rescue attempt. A fair amount of the footage used in the film was recreated by the directors and the people involved in the rescue so they could give as realistic of a portrayal as they possibly could.

These efforts really paid off as I felt like I was right there in the submersed cave tunnels, living out all of the dangerous moments and feeling every emotion that the divers, SEAL team members, family members, and everyone was going through as close as if we were seeing it unfold in real time. The filmmakers also mix in a fair amount of real news footage from the events as well as compelling conversations with just about everyone involved which really made this about as complete of a documentary experience as a viewer could ask for.

It was also interesting to see how the filmmaking team explored the culture and history of the region and especially some of the mythology and legend involved with the caves themselves. After watching this documentary, I firmly believe that there is a long lost princess protecting the cave tunnels and who also may have played a hand herself in rescuing the soccer team from an almost certain fate. Just watch the film and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

This whole event is such an inspirational story for so many reasons and just about everything is covered in some form or fashion even when it comes to honoring and paying tribute to anyone who was lost or lost something over the course of the ordeal. I honestly believe that there is no better way that this story could have been told and I mean that from every sense of the filmmaking process. I am thankful to now know the full story of the soccer team and everyone else who played any part in helping to save their lives.

Image courtesy of National Geographic

The Verdict:
The Rescue is a triumph in filmmaking and does everything right in telling the story of how the world came together to save a group of boys from a seemingly inevitable fate.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at 2021 LAAPFF.

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