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Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation's Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif - the Eiger - two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent. Written by
As Luise Fellner and her boss, Herr Arau, arrive at the Eiger, the local guides are standing in front of the hotel advertising their services to the tourists. One of the guides notices a pair of climbers in the crowd. "Look who's coming," he says, "Bartolo Sandri and Mario Menti." A fellow guide mutters: "Another couple of fools. Come in a train and leave in a coffin." These two Italian climbers fell to their deaths from the north face June 21, 1938. See more »
In the opening scene one of the entries in Toni Kurz's Tourenbuch includes a blue stamp from the Neue Traunsteiner Hütte. The entry is from 1936 but this hut was built in 1938. See more »
[in German, quoting English subtitles]
When you're at the bottom - Toni once told me - at the foot of the wall, and you look up, you ask yourself: How can anyone climb that? Why would anyone even want to? But hours later when you're at the top looking down, you've forgotten everything. Except the one person you promised you would come back to.
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The reaction this film got at the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) in Pusan, South Korea, was better than any of the other big movies there.
This movie gets a 10 out of 10 from me. It is a harsh story about Germany in the 30s as the Nazis were rising and wishing to prove to the world that they were the best. The tale is about two German men who take on a very difficult climb. The story is quite riveting, and human. Full of laughs, tragedy, and ... a little bit of a love story.
Although the movie starts a little slowly, it really picks up about one third the way in. The main characters (the two mountain climbers and the one female love interest) are all solid actors, well directed, and well casted. The director did a great job at capturing the climb. Everything was so convincingly shot, it makes you wonder if they actually filmed some of it on a real mountain. I suppose they must have used CGI, but it was used so sparingly and realistically that it must be commended. The contrast between the plight of the mountain climbers and that of the rich bystanders makes the movie so much more emotionally riveting. Some people in the audience cried.
This is a tragedy that must be seen. It captures humanity at its best and worst... and shows us that sometimes nature rules our lives, and that it is not forgiving.
Overall, I felt this movie was a small masterpiece. One that will probably not be seen by many. But for those who do, you will get a very special treat...
It was especially amazing to know that you, as the viewer, had more than a telescope to watch this climb with... unlike the bystanders in the movie, we were able to see more than just the ascent and the final moment. We saw the part that mattered the most: the climb.
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