Sunshine Superman tells the story of Carl Boenish, an intrepid explorer pushing the limits of physical experience, and an inventive cinematographer of that boundary’s edge. He was a skydiver, whose footage from the 70s and 80s shows people seemingly capable of the ultimate assault on reality. They could fly.
Lest we think Boenish jumps out of airplanes and off of buildings for the dopamine alone, documentarian Marah Strauch looks at the motives behind his love of jumping. She shows us interviews, offers reenactments, discusses what it means to goad gravity, and delicately handles two aspects of Boenish’s life that require special treatment: his marriage to a “bookish” woman and his untimely death on a jump in Norway – the marriage because it is so sweet, the jump because it is so tragic. The combination of dangerous recreation, romantic love, difficult endings, and big ideas makes this a film that would appeal to viewers looking for something both thoughtful and thrilling.