“I hope it’s a reminder of the beauty of humanity”: An interview with The Rescue director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and cave diver John Volanthen
From the creators of Oscar-winning Free Solo comes yet another breathtaking, heart-wrenching documentary centred around an against-all-odds feat, The Rescue. Swapping the vertigo-inducing heights that prodigal climber Alex Honnold was able to summit without a rope for the dark and claustrophobic depths of a Thai cave system, filmmaking duo Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin have reunited to bring to the big screen the unbelievable story of the 12 teenage Thai boys and their coach who became trapped underground – and the monumental worldwide effort to rescue them.
Formed of an expertly crafted collage of news clips, testimonials, reconstructed scenes and never-seen-before footage, this must-see movie recreates in astonishing, nail-biting detail how the events of 2018 unfolded behind the headlines and zooms in on the incredible – and unlikely – individuals who risked their lives to try and bring the boys home to their families. While an emotional rollercoaster of a watch, it’s also a precious time capsule of what happened, a homage to those from the local and international community who came together to make the impossible possible and a testament to the compassion and resilience of the human spirit when put to the test.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking with Vasarhelyi and one of the film’s subjects, expert cave diver John Volanthen, about why they felt it was important to tell the story of the rescue, the challenges of putting the film together and what message they think it carries.
The Rescue is released nationwide on 29th October 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Rescue here: