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A very professional and compelling film, but one that also made me wonder why....what's the point of all this?
MartinHafer29 October 2011
This is not a typical installment of "Frontline". Instead of being about typical current events, it's an independent film about a group of climbers who got stuck in a terrible storm after they reached the summit of Mt. Everest. The film is very competently made and professional looking. The music quite effective and I marveled at how well filmed it was--with some reconstructed scenes that must have been very difficult to do. And, there are lots of interviews from various folks involved in this perilous descent. I can't imagine how they could have made this story much better--it's compelling and expertly crafted.

Nevertheless, while this is a very well-made film, one thing that kept going through my mind is my own prejudice against climbing HUGE mountains and the like. I kept thinking how stupid all these people were because they were willing to throw away their lives on something that it so fleeting. I just don't get it. My assumption is that a lot of folks feel that way--and so the number of folks who might watch this film is a bit limited. After all, seeing some of the interviewees with just stumps for hands (losing his fingers in the climb) and badly misshaped noses (again, due to frostbite) just baffled me...

Overall, I didn't care much about the climbers but really, really respect the fine filmmaking. Not a glowing endorsement, I know, but so be it.
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This was a great documentary that plumbs the nature of being human
homers_8460617 July 2012
I thought this was great movie and that it showed the lengths some people will go to to achieve a goal or to accomplish something that allows them to measure their grit and determination. The difficulty of achieving an Everest Summit is why it is so alluring - to try to overcome your fear, timidity, exhaustion, and the forces of nature to "get there" is a fabulous inspiration for people who have great challenges and difficulty in their lives. To say the climb is pointless or meaningless misses the point. That Everest Summiters are in great demand as motivational speakers says it all - we want people to inspire us to hang in there against the troubles of life.
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Disappointing in its lack of depth
don-2498 June 2013
I found this complementary to Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Yes, it was great to hear the individuals speak but they weren't given much time. In contrast, into Thin Air gave much better explanations, quotes, and analysis of why people were making such (seemingly) bad decisions, namely the thin air and its dramatic affect on mental function. In contrast, Storm Over Everest makes it sounds like it was just that a freakish storm that caught them all by surprise. And because the only people interviewed were the survivors, Storm Over Everest barely scratches the surface of what the leaders (Rob Hall and Scott Fischer) were thinking.
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jrmcveigh16 November 2014
I've always thought about climbing this mountain, after watching this I've decided not pursue this life prise.

I believe the people who do climb this mountain are troubled people. I do (not admire) respect all who do climb this mountain, however, I don't think their thirst /desire to push themselves to the point of near death will never be quenched.

Im all for pushing yourself, but to come so close to death is a little to macabre for me.The single-mindedness required to attempt a mountain like Everest is a thoroughly selfish trait.

A great account of a terrible event.
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Curiously altered story line
mcgrew22 April 2018
A very workmanlike effort, with the usual big-face interviews, and slow-pan-and-zoom-of-stills video, and tragic music. However, there is a giant hole in the narrative that centers around Sandy Pittman, the rich-girl 'adventurer' whose presence on the mountain was pivotal in the disaster. (Ms. Pittman consumed the entire attention of the Sherpa who was supposed to fix ropes on the final day, and of chief guide Scott Fischer, who stayed with her and said Sherpa all the way up the mountain, thus arriving over 2 hours at the summit after 'turn around time'. Fisher died on the return trip - his body is still there - as did seven others.) Ms. Pittman, who has loudly proclaimed that she is just a swell person and that accounts describing her actions as biased, was nevertheless the most important person on the mountain on that awful day, because of the chaos she caused to occur (allegedly. There, she can't sue me.) It is a curious ommission on the part of "Frontline", however. In their telling, she pretty much magically appears after the storm breaks, and is saved by Boukreev, whose own curious behavior (racing up the mountain sans oxygen and then back down to camp 4, leaving clients behind) is papered over. Then she vanishes again. Try and find "Mountain without Mercy", from ABC (Ms. Pittman was employed by NBC on her jaunt, another unmentioned item in "Storm"), produced six months before any of the various competing books on the matter, with better interviews, and with less recast-the-narrative bias (in my opinion. There, PBS can't sue me.)
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