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'Sunshine Superman' shows appeal of cliff-jumping

'Superman' centers on legendary engineer-turned-cliff-jumper Carl Boenish, who dove off mountains and high-rise buildings before losing his life in the mountains of Norway in 1984.

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'Superman' stars Jean (l.) and Carl (r.) Boenish.

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

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Marah Strauch’s documentary “Sunshine Superman” is about legendary engineer-turned-cliff-jumper Carl Boenish, who had an exhilarating time diving off mountains and high-rise buildings before losing his life in the mountains of Norway in 1984. 

Boenish avidly filmed his exploits, and the 16-mm footage of him and his fellow jumpers attests to the sport’s freewheeling appeal – not to mention its arrant foolhardiness. But the film doesn’t allow for too many of my these-people-are-nuts qualms. Call me a wimp. 

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Boenish’s wife, Jean, who trained to jump with him, is interviewed extensively, and, although Strauch doesn’t provide much backstory for her, she emerges as that rarity – a perfect matchup to a seemingly unmatchable man. Grade: B- (Rated PG for thematic elements, some language, smoking, and a brief nude image.)