One place. One day. Two men. The place is a polar research station on an island in the Arctic Ocean, inhabited now only by Sergei and Pavel. One day when Sergei is out angling, Pavel picks up a radio message that he daren't communicate.
There are two schools of thought...those who say it is a waste of time and energy striving to do the impossible...and those who say that nothing is really impossib;e!
This film is about the impossible dream of a young man Mark (Ken Duken) confined to a wheelchair as a confirmed paraplegic. He is sensitive about his condition, frustrated and angry with thoughts of suicide. His greatest wish in life is to climb a snow-capped mountain called Gran Paradiso.
Lisa is a newly-appointed physiotherapist who attends to his case. She understands his plight and consults with a friend who is in charge of long term prison inmates. Between them they decide on a plan to construct a special stretcher and have three specially selected prisoners carry Mark to the summit. A group of mentally handicapped patients join the party.
The film is very moving as we examine in depth each of the characters as they face the strenuous uphill climb, first over a rocky terrain and later through the snow. They tend to blame each other for what is becoming a stupid and impossible stuggle to the top.
A very exciting part of the journey is when they reach a seemingly impassible crevasse. How on earth can it be crossed? It is solved in an unpredictable way.
With the peak in sight you begin to ask yourself...will they make it to the top or will the struggle end in disappointment? You feel deeply engrossed in the circumstances...what madness set them on this course? Would I have turned back as others have threatened to do?
It is indeed a strange collection of characters, arguing and threatening, consoling and finally accepting the increasing difficulties. In a way the upward climb is symbolic of life's journey which besets all of us.
I will be surprised if after viewing this film your heart is not filled with inspiration and a desire to contemplate how little your problems are by comparison. A very emotional ending.
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