You know the ending, but do you know how they got there?
It's a chilling and scary story, told in an excellent National Geographic documentary, The Rescue, about the 2018 saga of 12 boys and their assistant soccer coach who scurried inside a Northern Thailand cave which flooded, trapping them for more than two weeks.
Cave divers from around the world joined members of the Royal Thai Navy Seals and the U.S. Air Force Special Tactics in attempts to save the team.
Manmade forces juggled with Mother Nature and certain forecast monsoon rains in the breathtaking rescue race.
Forced by persistence and beliefs of the Thai people who believed the boys could be saved, 10,000 persons ultimately aided in the recovery efforts.
The rescuers contacted a doctor friend in Australia to request that he consider administering sedatives to the boys to get them out, but the doctor resisted. He couldn't do it; the possibility was crazy.
But like the Thai people who would not give up believing in miracles, the cave divers would not give up asking the doctor until he agreed and journeyed to Thailand.
Splices of tape show the 24/7 actions underwater which become a horror show, ultimately ending in death.
Each of the star rescuers is interviewed at length; they describe their backgrounds growing up, when some were bullied, and many were loners, like the nerds at my high school who became the biggest achievers.
What is missing in this tale is why and how the boys went into the cave, why they went so far and why their coach led them.
Since Netflix retained rights to the boys' stories, no first-person accounts by any of them are included in the National Geographic film, an unnoticed absence, save the reasons for their entering the cave in the first place.
That the boys and their coach survived underground for up to 17 days is astonishing and shows what can happen if you "believe" and do not give up.
The film fulfills National Geographic's goals: To "support a diverse, international community of changemakers ...who use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world."
Take a hanky (or more than one). I figured I'd cry in the show. I did.
Husband and wife team, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, directed and produced the film with producers John Battsek, PJ van Sandwijk, Bob Eisenhardt (also, editor).
Daniel Pemberton's music is out of this world.