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Unbreakable: The story of Mark Pollock – Movie Review


Unbreakable: The story of Mark Pollock – Review by Frank L.

Directed by Ross Whitaker

On his website in a short video Mark Pollock in a confident voice states:

“When I was young I wanted to compete.When I went blind I wanted to go further.When I broke my back, I just wanted to walk again… and I will.”

Ross Whitaker reveals in this awesome story and the rationale behind Mark Pollock’s belief in his statement “I will”.

Through a congenital defect, he lost the sight in his right eye aged 5 and in his left at the age of 22. However, notwithstanding blindness, he found new ways to discover adventure and to compete ending up as the first blind man to walk to the South Pole. He learnt how to dance salsa and in so doing found the woman of his dreams, Simone George, his salsa teacher. A mere four weeks before their wedding in June 2010 disaster struck again, he broke his back in a fall and has since been paralysed from below the stomach down.

He does not shy away from recounting that he cried regularly and often during those early days following the fall but gradually his ability and inner need to compete began to reassert itself. But now the competition were his immobile legs. What could he do to make them work? His spinal injuries are of the type that a life in a wheelchair is the usual prognosis. That prospect was not one that his temperament could accept.

His competitive spirit forced his upper body to be as fit as possible so as to help support his breathing and his circulation but also to provide support for his legs as he faced the task of cajoling them to operate once more. Simone provided the eyes and skills to search the web to discover where was medical science in discovering methods to circumvent the consequences of damage to the spinal column. Their combined determination led them to Los Angeles and Professor Reggie Edgerton who is leading an inter disciplinary team of experts to find new ways to excite and affect (neuromodulate) the spinal cord. What Mark Pollock is required to do physically engages fully his obvious great physical strength, but it also required his almost supernatural power to compete with himself against what most rational human beings would consider insuperable odds. But to Mark Pollock this is yet another adventure like walking to the South Pole blind, it is a challenge to be surmounted. He also indicates that walking again is not his only ambition, once he achieves that skill his next target will be the restoration of his private bodily functions. He does not shy away from an issue no matter how taboo. What makes the story so engaging is his selflessness, his determination, his adoration of Simone and his magnificent smile.

Whitaker in his direction of the film provides a vehicle which seems almost invisible as the story of Mark Pollock is told. Mark is centre stage which is the correct focus. The film ensures that Mark never goes out of focus. It is a film that must be seen because the story is so uplifting.

Visit the website here.

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