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Original Issue

Leap of Love

Jumping off cliffs sounds crazy, but the same can be said of falling in love. Sunshine Superman, a documentary by CNN Films (airing Jan. 17 and on demand), is a riveting and often stomach-flipping history of BASE jumping, but its adrenaline rushes come as much from the unlikely love story it tells. Using beautiful 16mm archival footage set to a 1970s rock sound track, the film is a valentine to the bond between Carl Boenish, an engineer turned cinematographer who helped coin the term BASE (buildings, antennas, spans and earth), and his wife, Jean. Together they broke the Guinness World Record in 1984 by leaping from Trollveggen in Norway, before heartbreaking disaster struck. "It gives us a feeling of power and of joy," Carl says in the film. "And we want to share it with the world."