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Miranda Miller, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau and Brittany Phelan star in “On Falling”

Josephine Anderson's documentary explores the rush of control that comes from letting go

On Falling Miranda Miller Photo by: Miranda Miller. Photo: Scott Secco

Crashing is part of racing, or even riding mountain bikes, but it is rarely discussed openly. On Falling, by Vancouver filmmaker Josephine Anderson, talks to three of the world’s fastest women, who all happen to be Canadian, about the serious crashes, and how it changed their careers.

Miranda Miller, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau and Brittany Phelan are the film’s subjects. A downhill world champion, a multiple-time Enduro World Series medallist, and an Olympic ski cross medallist that races enduro at a pro-level. The three are all impressively successful in their racing careers.

On falling Andréane Lanthier Nadeau
Andréane Lanthier Nadeau. Photo: Claire Sanford

All three are also intimately familiar with the risks of the sport. All have been sidelined for weeks, months, or even years by injuries resulting from crashing.

Anderson describes On Falling as blending “white-knuckle riding, crashes, and quiet self-examination.” The film, she says, “unfolds as a meditation on the rush of control that comes with completely letting go.”

The tone of On Falling, made for New Yorker, diverges from the usual shred edit. Anderson taps into the emotional side of mountain biking, as much as it does the physical challenge.

On Falling Brittany Phelan
Brittany Phelan (left) with Amy Ertel (right) looking on. Photo: Claire Sanford

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That’s not to say On Falling is slow. The film grips viewers from its opening lines.

“Sometimes, I try and just take my fingers off the brakes completely,” says Miller in the film’s opening, “and just like kinda death grip through things.”

Watch the full movie, an official selection of 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, below.

On Falling 

For more on the film, you can read the full New Yorker feature article about On Falling now.

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On Falling

On Falling Josephine Anderson
Director Josephine Anderson. Photo by Jackie Dives

Director: Josephine Anderson
Producer: Joella Cabalu
Director of Photography: Claire Sanford
Composer: Mark Dolmont
Camera Operator: Scott Secco

Filmed on the Traditional Territories of the S wx wú7mesh (Squamish) & St’at’imc (Whistler) Peoples


On Falling Miller Nadeau
Left to right: Producer Joella Cabalu, Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, Miranda Miller and director Josephine Anderson on Squamish’s Meadow of the Grizzlies trail.