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Film Of The Week: The Rescue

MARIA DUARTE recommends a thrilling documentary about the race against time to rescue 12 boys and their football coach, trapped deep inside a flooded cave in Thailand

The Rescue (12A)
Directed by E Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin 
★★★★

IN THE summer of 2018 the world became gripped by the race-against-time daring rescue of 12 boys and their football coach trapped deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand. 

Academy Award-winning film-makers E Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo and Meru) bring their against-all-odds story to nail-biting life in this compelling documentary — a testament to human survival, endeavour and common humanity. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in this case it took an international community to rescue 12.

Through a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews with many of the key players, along with re-enactments of scenes by some of the original participants, the film gives you a unique insight into the infamous cave and the perilous rescue mission that ensued.

It highlights the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy Seals and US Special Forces along with the expert cave divers (mainly British) who risked their lives to save the boys. 

It is a real edge-of-your-seat heart-stopping watch — even though you know the final outcome — as British cavers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen recount how they dived in search of the youngsters and the treacherous difficulties they faced. It is extraordinary.

Like their previous films Meru and Free Solo, which weren’t just about mountaineering and climbing without ropes respectively, The Rescue is about more than an impossible rescue.

It’s also about moral responsibility: if you have the expertise to save someone, should you put yourself at risk to do so?

What this unbelievable rescue mission proved is what we can achieve when we put our differences aside and all work together — a valuable lesson for all those attending Cop26.

In cinemas October 29.

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