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Experience Human Flight with Birdmen - Explore

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Sierra Daily

03/08/2012

Experience Human Flight with Birdmen

"The dream of human flight is overpowering for some of us," says BASE jumper Matt Gerdes in the film Birdmen: The Original Dream of Flight, "And it's far more important than the fear of the unknown."

Thus sums up what many consider a total whack-job mentality of a total whack-job sport. However, seeing is believing in the exquisite short that is just the trailer for the first documentary devoted to wingsuit BASE jumping.  

FlightFor those of us that have dreamed of feeling untethered, watching the wingsuit flocks zip between mountains and float on thermals proves that there are some (well-trained) humans who have been able to capture that sensation and that it can be an addictive one.  

Birdmen writer-director Matt Sheridan doesn't make light of the fact that wingsuit jumping is dangerous. In fact, top-ranked Jeb Corliss is still recovering from two broken legs he suffered in January, after playing around off Cape Town's Table Mountain.  

But the filmmakers also emphasize how artful and scientific their and their predecessors' process is — how a respect for nature, the rules of gravity and aeronautics, and connecting with the animals that live within those parameters, are built into the experience.

We may not be lining up at a cliff any time soon, but the Birdmen trailer almost makes us want to.

--Benita Hussain / Image from Birdmen: The Original Dream of Flight

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