Cinema Review: The Summit


Posted November 22, 2013 in Cinema Reviews

Director: Nick Ryan

Talent: Hoselito Bite, Lars Nessa, Wilco Van Rooijen, Ger McDonnell, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

Release Date: November 22nd 2013

In the summer of 2008, several teams from around the globe joined adventitiously to try and conquer the China-Pakistan border’s notorious K2 Mountain. Due to their disparate natures, a lack of preparation, the killer environment and many other factors, eleven of them died. Not during the climb up, but on the descent.

The Summit tells a riveting tale and unraveling the mystery of what actually happened on the mountain is a joy, even though the jumps in chronology can be occasionally haphazard. Reconstruction, that prolific killer of documentaries, is thankfully kept to a minimum, and is never intrusive. The real pleasure is in the found footage: the film and photographs taken by the climbers themselves. Few of the most crucial moments are captured, but it lends a realness and humanity to the film that much of the talking head footage can’t provide. An interview with 1950s climber Bonatti adds whimsy, while the mountain itself provides nature’s raw beauty.

Words: Eoghain Meakin

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