The true story of a blind adventurer battling spectacular odds, rendered in flat TV documentary fashion
If you enjoy a rousing real-life tale of triumph against the odds, you might like this doc about the blind Northern Irish adventure athlete Mark Pollock, whose already tough life was made almost unbearable when he broke his back falling from a window. But if you also demand certain filmmaking standards from your documentaries, you might not. ‘Unbreakable’ was made for TV, and looks like it.
Pollock is an agreeable host and his achievements are impressive, from hiking to the South Pole to yachting around Ireland. His honesty can be disarming; he speaks about his injury and the depression that followed it with bruising frankness. That he’s now an in-demand public speaker working towards a cure for spinal injury comes as no surprise.
But his story demands a more high-end treatment than this. The format works fine – talking heads interspersed with home-video footage and TV clips – but the camerawork is relentlessly drab, with washed-out colours and bland framing. We’d love to see a decent cinematic take on Pollock’s story, but this belongs on the small screen