Sole Survivor (2013)

TV-14   |    |  Documentary


Sole Survivor (2013) Poster

In the history of aviation, there have been only 14 of them: sole survivors of a commercial aviation disaster. Most have never spoken publicly about the loss, the guilt, the immense ... See full summary »


6.4/10
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15 January 2014 | alexcomputerkid
Sole Survivor is a very sad but informational documentary.
Sadly, there are many plane crashes in this world. Plane crashes have caused many casualties and destruction and sometimes that makes us question flying but one thing that has come out of some plane crashes are sole survivors. We know through history there have only been a handful of sole survivors from plane crashes and that's what makes it an interesting story. Sole Survivor is the CNN documentary of four people who are sole survivors and their life and effects after surviving their own crashes.

This is a documentary that switches off and on who they are following and because of that, the film is a little uneven at times. Still though, the most interesting stories and people that eventually connected with each other are of George Lamson and Bahia Bakari. In 1985, George Lamson was celebrating Super Bowl Sunday in Reno when he survived a plane crash as he was traveling back to his home state of Minnesota. Bahia Bakari survived a crash in 2009 that left her in the water for nine hours hanging on to part of the plane's wreckage. Both stories connect as Lamson and Bakari lost parent figures in the crash and even though there is a language barrier between them, they meet up eventually and this likely will have a lasting impact on them.

The most different story is from Jim Polehinke who was the co-pilot and only survivor of a crash in Kentucky. His story goes into how the control tower were understaffed, a wrong runway was used and who was to blame for the crash. This is the story that ultimately adds the most variety to the film.

The most famous story is that of Cecelia Cichan, the toddler that survived a crash in the Detroit area that caused 154 casualties. This crash is only twenty five minutes from my house and is a story that connects to me as my aunt knew a person on the flight and it is still something that people talk about in my area close to thirty years after the crash. Even though Cecelia Cichan's story is the most famous of those in the documentary, it is kind of a forced segment and disappears afterwards.

Sole Survivor is a very sad but informational documentary. It is a good film with a unique idea that will likely never be explored again. Sole Survivor proves yet again what great films are being produced by CNN Films.

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