The Will to Fly

DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 35min

DIRECTED BY: Leo Baker & Katie Bennie Bender

Where there's a will: Lassila

Quad-twisting triple somersault jump, anyone? Step right up, Lydia Lassila, Australian wife, mother and demon freestyle skier, who at Russia's 2014 Winter Olympic Games took home a bronze medal for pulling off just that. Her leap of faith was also the toughest Olympics jump for any woman, ever. So there. "Playing it safe is just not my style," Lydia notes, with about a ton of understatement.


Co-directors Leo Baker and Katie Bennie Bender's wrap-up is primarily a love letter to Lydia's spirit, which nobody should hold against them after bearing witness to the hellacious work it takes to get where she went. Starting with a childhood commitment to gymnastics and whooshing onto skis from there, she is unstoppable even through the physically crushing and emotionally shattering setbacks that go hand-in-mitten with the genius madness of her sport. For Lydia and her one-time teammates, Alisa Camplin and Jacqui Cooper, competition — as much with themselves as with each other — is oxygen. And that essentially is where The Will to Fly really lives. The skiing is astonishing but the mindset that animates it is everything.