Release Date: June 12, 2015
Running Time: 96 minutes
You don't have to be crazy to jump off the top of a skyscraper but it probably helps. Take Carl Boenish. The larger-than-life subject of director Marah Strauch's documentary Sunshine Superman was one of the founders of the BASE jumping movement in the 1970s. He probably wasn't crazy but he certainly was fanatical about his sport. A man without fear, the freefall cinematographer would jump off a cliff—such as El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park—and parachute to the ground without breaking into a sweat. He also had such a persuasive personality that his wife, Jean Boenish, willingly threw herself into BASE jumping as a result of their relationship. And, as Sunshine Superman reveals, she quickly became his equal. Sunshine Superman devotes much of its time to chronicling Boenish's accomplishments on and off the face of a cliff through exhilarating archive footage and re-enactments. Strauch really us puts inside into Boenish’s jumpsuit. Then she recalls the circumstances that led to Boenish's 1984 death as a result of a jump off Trollryggen in Norway. It's a stark reminder just how dangerous a sport BASE jumping can be even with the right amount of preparation. But Strauch doesn't turn Boenish into just another cautionary tale. Sure, he had an ego that got the better of him, but he was also a pioneer of a sport that didn't have a name when he achived fame through his breathtaking activities. The world needs daredevils like Boenish to remind us that we all need a little danger in our lives, even if it’s something we experience vicariously through Boenish and those who followed him.
Aired: June 11, 2015
Web site: http://www.magpictures.com/sunshinesuperman/