StoryThe First World Air Games, held in Turkey in 1997, offered extreme air sports enthusiasts the opportunity to compete in airborne activities of every thrilling variety. The event, which included over 3,000 competitors from 75 nations, is documented in the multivolume Altius series of films. Altius is the Latin word for higher, a fitting title for documentaries filmed, for the most part, thousands of feet in the air. Volume II of the series is divided into four distinct categories of competition footage--formation skydiving, hang-gliding, paragliding, plus a segment that focuses on highlights from some of the myriad events of the games, such as ballooning and aeromodeling. The coverage is thorough and informative (novice air sports fans will be surprised at how much is technically involved and how many rules can be injected into these seemingly simple activities), and, despite its low-budget videography, the camerawork is visually exciting.
The four independently directed segments, while doing a good job of maintaining their focus on the separate aviation sports disciplines, occasionally appear a bit disjointed and inconsistent. For example, viewers are introduced to the World Air Games an annoying four times throughout the film, and one of the segments, when showing an awards presentation, honors the third- and first-place finishers of several events while inexplicably snubbing the second-place winners (perhaps a nationalist bias?). All in all, however, this film series presents a comprehensive overview of this unique competition and will perhaps explain why "only skydivers know why the birds sing." --Ed Noble
- Available subtitles: English
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Volume Two Includes: Up Against The Clock, Challenging The Eagles, Free As A Bird & Best Of Wag
- Also includes The Best of World Air Games