Oscar-winning 'Free Solo' climbs into China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 30, 2019
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A Chinese poster of "Free Solo" [Image courtesy of Alibaba Pictures]

The Academy Award-winning documentary "Free Solo" will open in Chinese theaters in September, Alibaba Pictures announced on Monday.

The 2018 documentary film is directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and the world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, an American couple of Chinese descent. 

"Free Solo" intimately records the rock climber Alex Honnold's stunning and inspiring unaccompanied and unsupported ascent of the 3,000-foot El Capitan in America's Yosemite National Park in June 2017. The film is a production of National Geographic Documentary Film.

This is the most dangerous form of rock climbing as it requires the climber to reject any form of protective equipment, relying entirely on their own strength and skill. According to National Geographic, Honnold's quest to become the first person to achieve a free solo climb of El Capitan, shows how an athlete exceeds current understanding of human physical and mental potential, to achieve a triumph of the human spirit.

Since it was released in North America and other territories in September 2018, "Free Solo" has grossed over $21 million and received numerous accolades, including winning the Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

"Free Solo" made its China debut at the Beijing International Film Festival in April and was screened in a restricted way at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June. All the showings were sold out within minutes.

Imported by China Film Group and with promotion undertaken by Alibaba Pictures and its ticketing platform Taopiaopiao, the film will have wide release in China starting on Sept. 6, with an IMAX version. 

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