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...out of time

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there..."

LAST WEEKEND I FINALLY got around to watching Man On Wire.

If you haven't already seen it, Man On Wire is the extraordinary story of a Frenchman's obsession with walking a tightrope strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Against all odds, he finally succeeded in 1974 - but it's the story of how he managed to achieve his dream, and the incredible emotion the journey inspired in his acolytes, even to this day, that's amazing.

Anyone who's looked at this blog more than once or twice will know that I have a thing about the Twin Towers. Apart from finding them strangely beautiful, the story of their construction is in itself fascinating. More than that, the events of 11th September 2001 are surely the most horrific example of man's inhumanity to man and the single most significant event in our time. The poster top left is an advertisement for the World Trade Center in the 1980s, at that time a top tourist attraction. Retrospect is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It's been called creepy by other pundits, but the slogan now makes me think of the Frenchman Philippe Petit and his burning desire to walk in the clouds.
A film like Man On Wire not only celebrates the buildings, for once presenting them in a positive light, but it also affirms the potential for good in man. It's about time we looked beyond the death of the towers, and embraced their life instead.

View all World Trade Center articles.

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