Austria | UK | USA | Argentina 2013
Starts March 13, 2014
Directed by: Thomas Dirnhofer
Writing credits: Documentary
Cast: Documentary with David Lama, Peter Ortner, Toni Ponholzer, Jim Bridwell
Length: 101 minutes
Cerro Torre—3,133 meters high (10,278 feet)—is the highest of a four mountain chain in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Argentina and like no other on earth. Archival footage tells us about Cesare Maestri’s claimed climb in 1959 with Toni Egger, and Maestri’s subsequent climb in 1970. “You will not climb the Cerro Torre free,” cautions Jim Bridwell, an American nicknamed “crazy genius of rock climbing.” Over the years other climbers challenged the ascent, however we focus on Austrian alpinist David Lama. David began climbing when very young—his Sherpa father is a Himalayan guide; competition climbing by fifteen, he is the youngest to win numerous world cups earning the moniker “Spiderman.” Turning to mountaineering, after failed attempts David inimitably conquers Cerro Torre in 2012.
What makes this film spectacularly interesting is Thomas Dirnhofer, Lincoln Else, Günther Göberl, Franz Hinterbrandner, Christian Mitterbauer, and aerial cinematographer Peter Thompson’s camerawork. The climbers’ helmet cameras give us dizzyingly, breathtaking and scary perspectives. Director Dirnhofer certainly had his work cut out pulling this together; Red Bull Media House sponsored. Thomas Kohler should have edited more wisely; the story is too long and muddled in the telling. Michael Kadelbach’s music enhances. The predominately German dialogue with English, Italian, and Spanish has German subtitles. Still, if a journey to heights you have only imagined is on your agenda this adventure is worth seeing. These climbers’ are a breed unto themselves—borderline crazy—in a very macho environment. (Marinell H.)