Ten Meter Tower: Film review by Oscar Oliver

7th December 2020

Screen and Film School Brighton student, Oscar Oliver, reviews the short film documentary- Ten Meter Tower.


‘Ten Meter Tower’ is a Swedish short film documentary produced and directed by Maximilien Van Aertryck. Nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding New Approaches in Documentary, Ten Meter Tower, despite having a run time of only 17 minutes, dives deep into themes of fear, friendship and fragility whilst exhibiting the wonders of the human condition.

Filmed with 6 cameras to capture various angles and several microphones, the film sees an array of participants ascend a ten-meter-high diving board to choose between bounding (or in some cases falling) into the pool below, or a forlorn climb down to ‘safety’. What intrigued me about this film is its simplistic nature. There is no particular narrative nor a narrator, the film is relatively silent for its majority, yet it remains captivating and oddly inspiring. By the end I’d been made to question my own judgement of people, as in a few cases, the participants I saw as unwilling and cowardly were first to jump without hesitation and vice versa. It soon became clear to me that there is no face to courage.

Ten Meter Tower eloquently symbolises our innate human reaction to the characteristics of fear – a sense of invisible danger. During the first four minutes of so, as we see the subjects visibly wincing and shaking at the knees, the swimming pool is completely out of frame. The ‘threat’ that awaits them is nowhere to be seen, yet our participants are noticeably apprehensive and disquieted; it’s left to our (the audience’s) imagination. I feel this film uniquely challenges our perception of fear, not as an obstacle of reckoning, but a conquerable entity existing only within one’s own mind. I’d strongly advise putting a swimsuit on and taking a leap of faith with Ten Meter Tower, you’ll seldom be disappointed.



About Oscar Oliver


“Throughout the years, film has slowly become a big part of my life. Growing up in Brighton, I feel I have embraced the creative atmosphere that saturates this beautiful city. I seldom find myself uninspired when listening to the likes of Mark Kermode and watching the latest Edgar Wright masterpiece to grace our television screens.” 



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