A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas. In 1953, New ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas. In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults - even blows. What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred? Determined to explore what was going on, the filmmakers set out to make a film of the 2014 Everest climbing season, from the Sherpas' point of view. Instead, they captured a tragedy that would change Everest forever. At 6.45am on 18th April, 2014, a 14,000 ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. It was the worst tragedy in the history of Everest. The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the ...

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26 April 2016 (USA)  »

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Documentary & Drama Come Together in a Evocative & Technically Impressive Documentary
7 June 2015 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

I went in expecting a 'spectacle documentary' but Sherpa turned out to be so much more.

As with so so many great documentaries, the film-makers went in expecting to make one type of film and came out with something much more than they could surely have hoped.

The spectacle of the cinematography should be enough to draw an audience; if that fails the human story is powerful - moments of heavy emotion and a heart-rending look in a wife's eyes still rattle about in my head.

Many other themes are strewn throughout also, giving the film a pleasing depth - politics, racial divides and differences, economic realities of mountain life and exploitation of nature amongst them.

One of the greatest triumphs for me is that we go on our own expedition with the subjects but also with the film-makers: As their plans become derailed and their film goes in a direction they could not have expected we join them - We find ourselves embroiled in real- life drama and tragedy in perhaps the most dramatic of all locations on Earth.


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