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In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevasse and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevasse. This is the story of how he got back down. Written by
bob the moo
At the end of the movie, there's a written line claiming that Simon faced "strong criticism" from the climbing community after his return to England. This claim has been repeated in several press statements and reviews, but it's not correct. What really happened is that, one month after his return in Europe, Simon went climbing in the Alps, unaware that the Daily Mail newspaper had published a wildly incorrect version of the Siula story, implying that Simon had tried to kill Joe. This was of course absurd, and the British climbing community dismissed it immediately as nonsense. However, back home Simon discovered that a small group of senior members of the Mount Everest Foundation (the body that manages founding for climbing expeditions in the Greater Ranges) had misjudged the story and now wanted Simon excluded in the future from the MEF funds - a move that could basically kill Simon's climbing career. At this point however, Joe Simpson had a correct version of the Siula story published in a respected climbing magazine, and the whole issue was cleared. However, in the DVD commentary, Joe Simpson himself clearly says that Simon came under much criticism after returning home, and that he wrote Touching the Void to defend Simon. See more »
Joe wears a model of Cebe glacier glasses that didn't enter production until 2001. See more »
During the first part of the closing credits (before the crawl), the credits are accompanied by black-and-white pictures showing the three men's journey back into civilization; the final picture is of Joe in the hospital. See more »
The story of what happens when two British climbers try to reach the top of a previous unclimbed mountain is one of the most spellbinding films in years. A hybrid of talking heads and re-enactments this movie is one of the best films (on mountain climbing) ever made. You'll forgive me but its hard not to speak in terms like, best, greatest, ect when you talk about this film. I think its all best summed up by the term, "WOW!!!"
I can only imagine what this would be like on a big screen, where the sense of scale would be overwhelming. Not having been able to see this on a big screen I've had to make due with the DVD, which contains an extra called "What happened next..." which is what you'll want to know once the credits start to roll.
My only complaint, and its a small one, is that the pace of the second half could be a bit tighter, other wise this is simply a great great movie.
9 out of 10.
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