After a terrible air disaster, survivor Max Klein emerges a changed person. Unable to connect to his former life or to wife Laura, he feels godlike and invulnerable. When psychologist Bill Perlman is unable to help Max, he has Max meet another survivor, Carla Rodrigo, who is racked with grief and guilt since her baby died in the crash which she and Max survived. Written by
The airplane crash site was recreated in a field in Northern California and was exactly modeled on a crash that occurred outside Sioux City in Iowa in 1989. The "accident" was reported by several flights flying over the scene. The field was first planted with 85 acres of corn which was then bulldozed to recreate the gouge that a crashing plane would have made. The adjoining cotton field was also purchased to make the crash appear bigger. 140 extras were employed for the scene along with 40 members of the Kern County and Bakersfield Fire Department. One of the town's main roads was closed for a week, and the local electricity company was persuaded to knock down several pylons and snarl up half a mile of electric cable to create a scene of almost total devastation. The crash site took a total of 10 days to prepare, and included throwing 600 suitcases and their contents (all items purchased from local thrift stores) liberally around the site. In total, the recreation cost $2 million. See more »
The TV news report says the flight number of the Intercity plane that went down was 202, however the newspaper article Jonah cuts out says it is 42. See more »
[seeing more survivors]
Hey, there's more over here! Bring another team! Another team here by the tail! We're going to need a lot more help.
See more »
I had heard about Fearless for a long time and was never in the right mind to see it. It's the story about how survivors of a plane crash cope with life afterwards, their neuroses, fears and personal demons. It is a quiet film, so quiet that one can barely hear the inner tremblings of the main character.
He is a survivor without fear. He has summoned up a supernatural lack of fear towards life and psychological health now that he has survived a plane accident. In times of crisis, he has the ability to block fear and to live on adrenalin alone. He has become in the eyes of the other plane passengers, a hero and an inspiration.
But even though this lack of fear is his saving grace, it is also threatening to jeopardize his life. He copes with the nightmares and emotional traumas with the same reaction that helped him along on that fateful day. But in real life, this way to cope is unhealthy and even dangerous. One must live afraid to be a normal person. One must worry about finances and loss of love.
The film is imperfect, as any great film should be. There are slow moments and perhaps a little too much pop psychology. (But the film is as subtle as it gets). There are marvelous character touches, such as a lawyer trying to file a lawsuit who keeps apologizing for his greediness. (The film exposes the genuine dilemmas of trying to compensate victims and their families).
Perhaps the most amazing scene is a reenactment of the plane crash itself. I won't give anything away about the story, but the scene is hauntingly beautiful; it shows the overwhelming force of the wind and the earth ripping apart the fusilade and all the parts of the luggage and cabin that humans normally deal with. It is a violent, horrifying scene and a horrifying memory, but for the main character, he can imagine it with the appropriate distance and without the pain. This accident was the defining moment for his life, and after that scene, we realize how amazing it is that he and the rest of them could have survived, and how fragile their life was in the face of overwhelming force.
This story imagines a disaster and how useless it is to be afraid of a force more powerful than any individual (and that is the main character's profound insight).
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