Director: Daisy-May Hudson
Actors: René Gude, Enahm Hof, Wim Hof
Genres: Documentary, Short
Release Year: 2015
Duration: 40 min
At first glance Dutchman Wim Hof is an average, affable guy, yet he is capable of extraordinary acts. Known as the "Iceman" due to his ability to control his core body temperature in extreme conditions, Superhuman: Iceman follows Hof as he trains Vice correspondents Matt Shea and Daisy-May Hudson in his meditation technique in an attempt to prove that anyone is capable of exercising mind over matter with the same level of aplomb.
Shea and Hudson travel to Amsterdam, where they learn more about Hof and spend two weeks preparing for a scantily-clad hike up Poland's frigid Mount Sniezka. They join Hof for a group training session, where participants are coached in a breathing technique that typically results in an intense emotional release. Hof explains that by unlocking these subconscious responses it ultimately allows the individual to regain control over their body, and therefore their life as a whole. "I do not fear death," Hof explains to the filmmakers. "I fear not to live fully."
A single father of four who lost his wife in 1995, Hof channeled his grief into a meditative practice that eventually led to his claiming the world record for remaining submerged in ice for almost 2 hours without any change to his core body temperature. Scientists question how it is that Hof can exhibit so much control over physical systems that are typically involuntary. Does he have a higher level of brown fat in his body? Can he secrete a specific hormone at will? Or is it really a form of meditation that allows him to control his ability to endure extreme cold?
Devoted to using his body as a sort of physiology lab, Hof happily participates in research studies to furnish hard proof of his ability to moderate his adrenaline levels and immune system. Hof's motivation to back his skills with scientific evidence stems from a desire to avoid instilling false hope in anyone. He is not a miracle worker, though his feats of endurance may seem miraculous.
Superhuman: Iceman is an inspirational profile of a charming and charismatic man, who is not only admirable but relatable despite his irregular abilities.