The Last Descent
When John Edward Jones climbed down into Nutty Putty Cave in November of 2009 he wasn’t prepared for the adventure a head of him. As he explored a lesser-known area of the cave, he slid down into a narrow impasse 10 inches high and 18 inches wide. Stuck upside down for over 28 hours, John was left with few options but to call for help. The unique topography and geological makeup of Nutty Putty cave created intense difficulties for the rescue team that risked everything to save John’s life. Over 150 feet below the surface and the end of over a thousand feet of tunnels, a unique friendship is formed as John and his rescuers share their lives, loves, losses and dreams. As the rescue attempt proceeds John unfolds the turns in his life that show what is most important, and he tells the story of a love worth risking everything for.
I'm a big fan of a happy ending, so when I was given the chance to review The Last Descent (a film based on the true story of a failed rescue attempt) I was a bit hesitant. However, my curiosity won out-I knew there must be more to this film than just depicting the loss. When the DVD arrived I started second guessing my decision to review it, BUT I am really happy that I took the time to watch this beautiful film.
It is definitely sad, but not a crushing, depressing sadness. There are scenes of joy and light throughout the film (mostly through flashbacks), and the way it ends actually feels hopeful and happy.
When the credits were rolling I had some questions. A day later I'm still thinking about the movie (and isn't that a sign of powerful art-when you keep thinking about it?). This is based on a true story, but obviously with over 127 viewpoints (at least that many people were involved in the rescue attempt), it does take artistic license. I wanted Aaron (the lead rescuer) to be real, and I wanted to know more about him. He's a composite of many rescuers; however, I'm left hoping that both through the actual event and this film that peoples lives were (or will be) touched.
The Last Descent is a film worth watching.
Statement from the Jones Family:
“John will always be remembered for his genuine love of his family and friends, passion for adventure, goofy sense of humor and unwavering faith. The heroic acts of the men and women who worked tirelessly to free him will never be forgotten. We hope that those who view the movie are inspired to live and love selflessly, and are comforted knowing that hope can be found in the wake of tragedy.”
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