There really is nothing more fascinating that the human condition, especially when it’s so simply and powerfully presented to you.
Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson are two Swedish filmmakers who wowed the Sundance Film Festival with their stunning social experiment.
The premise was simple:
Find people who had never jumped off a ten-metre diving board before, give them $30, tell them to climb up, jump off and film thee whole agonising process.
The resulting 16-minute short is a genuinely entrancing exploration of the human emotion of doubt.
As the filmmakers told the New York Times:
“Our objective in making this film was something of a psychology experiment: We sought to capture people facing a difficult situation, to make a portrait of humans in doubt.
We’ve all seen actors playing doubt in fiction films, but we have few true images of the feeling in documentaries.
To make them, we decided to put people in a situation powerful enough not to need any classic narrative framework. A high dive seemed like the perfect scenario.”
The raw, intensely human drama of something so trivial as jumping off a diving board is intriguing to the point of almost being hypnotic.
You’ll find yourself hugely emotionally invested in the participants as they grapple with their irrational fears.
The film was an audience favourite at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and Danielson might just know exactly why:
“Ten Meter Tower” may take place in Sweden, but we think it elucidates something essentially human, that transcends culture and origins.
Overcoming our most cautious impulses with bravery unites all humankind. It’s something that has shaped us through the ages.”