Oscar-winning directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin detail the headline-making rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave for 16 days.

TIFF Docs

The Rescue

E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin

When 12 young soccer players and their coach were trapped by monsoon floods inside a cave in Thailand, the world watched for 16 days as reporters gave updates from outside the rescue zone. Now we gain a perspective that no reporter could ever capture, through the eyes of the Thai and international rescue divers and never-before-seen footage from their cameras.

Oscar-winning filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) excel at revealing the human stories behind incredible feats. The Thai cave mission required navigating four kilometres of flooded passageways, some barely wider than a human body. The world’s most elite rescue teams had never trained for those conditions. In order to supplement their local expertise, the Thai Navy Seals collaborated with an international collection of devoted cave specialists including British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen.

The film crafts well-rounded portraits of key figures who put their lives at risk for what appeared to be a lost cause. We learn the backstories of these divers, many of whom grew up as loners worrying their families with their peculiar cave hobby. In Thailand they had to invent new techniques on the spot and navigate complicated political dynamics under a ticking clock before all hope would expire.

Even if you think you know the story from when it happened three years ago, the film is full of new revelations and delivers a dose of inspiration like an adrenaline shot.

THOM POWERS

Screenings

Sun Sep 12

Ontario Place Cinesphere

Regular
3:30pm
Sun Sep 12

TIFF Digital Cinema Pro

Press
4:00pm
Mon Sep 13

digital TIFF Bell Lightbox

Regular
3:00pm
Wed Sep 15

digital TIFF Bell Lightbox

Regular
7:00pm