Sole Survivor

Sole Survivor

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Sole Survivor (2013)

Opened: 08/16/2013 Limited

Scottsdale, AZ08/16/2013 - 08/22/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


In the history of aviation, there have been fourteen large commercial plane crashes with one lone survivor. SOLE SURVIVOR offers the first glimpse into the lives of four sole survivors as they embark on a journey to understand their perplexing fate.

When Galaxy Flight 203 was in its final seconds, George Lamson pulled his legs above his head, an arbitrary decision that helped save his life as he was thrown through the fuselage on impact. Immediately after the crash, George's sole survival was considered miraculous and newsworthy, making him a fixture in the media for a year. Twenty-six years later, George lives a few blocks from the accident site and still struggles with the emotional weight of his survival. He doesn't know if he was spared for a reason and if he was, what is that reason? In an effort to heal, he seeks to connect with the other thirteen sole survivors of commercial aviation disasters.

Jim Polehinke was the co-pilot of Comair Flight 5191 that crashed in Lexington on August 27th, 2006. Jim lost the use of his legs in the accident, but when he woke up from his coma, the most devastating news was that everyone on the plane had perished. Since the accident, Jim has never spoken publicly. In SOLE SURVIVOR, Jim's emotional struggle with his survivorship is underscored by the NTSB's findings that the plane crashed due to pilot error. Former NTSB investigators who were upset by the NTSB verdict say that Jim was unfairly blamed. In the film, they lay out a case to overturn the charge that the crash of Comair 5191 was due to Pilot's error.

Cecelia Cichan was four years old when she lost her entire family on in Northwest 255 disaster. As the lone survivor of that crash, Cecelia became America's orphan, receiving thousands of gifts and cards. After she was released from the hospital, Cecelia vanished from the limelight. Twenty five years later, people still remember Cecelia and wonder if she's happy and where she's been for over two decades. In SOLE SURVIVOR, Cecelia shares her story for her first time.

Teenager Bahia Bakari was the sole survivor of Yemenia Flight 626 that crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009. Bahia didn't have a life vest but survived by clinging to a piece of aircraft wreckage, floating in the ocean for almost ten hours before being rescued by a fishing boat. Three years after the crash, Bahia's father wants her to connect with other Sole Survivors who can better help her cope.

Through their varying experiences yet similar reflections, SOLE SURVIVOR puts a face on survivorship, underscoring the fact that survivors should not be treated as lucky. Survivors are victims too.