Beyond The Heights chronicles the journey of the first Pakistani woman to summit Mount Everest, a 22-year-old named Samina. The film is not entertainment in any traditional sense; it's more a combination of home movies, Pakistani propaganda, and extraordinarily bad camera work. There is a story to tell here. Samina comes from a remote village in the Himalayas,without electricity or running water. Her older brother, who worked for foreign expeditions as a porter, wanted a native Pakistani, preferably a woman, to do what foreigners were paying thousands of dollars to do, and he evidently felt some commitment to increasing gender equality. If a professional production company with experienced producers, directors, cinematographers, and all the rest undertook to tell the story, it could be riveting. But what we have here is simply a choppy, condescending collection of video images, with a narrator telling us what to think about "this valiant little girl." I was hugely disappointed and am glad I didn't pay to see it.
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