Nearly a century after Mallory offered “because it’s there,” as the reason people feel compelled to climb, ski and otherwise throw themselves up and down mountains, the draw remains ineffable. Australian director Jennifer Peedom attacks the big, unanswerable question with gorgeous music, imagery and rumination. She seems determined to throw all the tricks of cinema at the mystery, just as an impossible first summit might be achieved if only an adventurer could command sufficient skill and gear. Of course, the mountain can never be possessed, the mystery never parsed, and we are left awestruck, which is as good as it gets. “What odd devotions we undertake … with the mountains as our theater,” narrator Willem Dafoe intones. No doubt.
DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.