In 1985 two friends, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set out to climb Siula Grande in Peru via the West Face, a hitherto unaccomplished feat by any climber. After a tough ascent they succeed but on the descent they run into significant problems. Soon they are both in dire danger and the chances of surviving are slim.Written by
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 »
Even for those who cannot understand why anyone would attempt to risk their life to climb a peak that most will never even know about, this film is a true eye-opener. It will show you the part of climbing that many amateurs such as I will only read about..and now, through dramatic reenactments as described by the survivors, see in this film. The beauty of the mountain is juxtaposed in tense dramatic fashion by the two climbers struggle to survive. In pitting human against nature, it will force the viewer to confront themselves with the fundamental principle of American culture--the morality of self-interested, rational behavior. As the law prof reviewer suggested, you may come away from this film with a different outlook on "acceptable" behavior in an ethical sense.
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