Monday, August 24, 2015

"Meru": much "harder" to climb than "Everest"

While the movie world waits for “Everest” from Universal, there is a more personal true story “Meru”, about how three climbers finally conquer the “Shark Fin” (20,700), not quite the highest point on Mount Meru in northern India, in 2011, returning from an attempt in 2008 that didn’t quite make it.

The film is directed by Jimmy Chin (one of the climbers, and it’s unbelievable how he could do the cinematography live for both climbs) and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. The other two climbers are Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk.

The filmmakers point out that people can hire porters to go up Everest and share the risk, but not on Meru.

The biggest challenge comes when Renan suffers a serious skull fracture (along with upper vertebrate breaks) in an accident back home in Wyoming. Amazingly, he recovers and goes on the trip, but has a temporary stroke on the way up. Nevertheless, he recovers at 15000 feet elevation on his own and continues.  Chin also survives an avalanche back home while skiing.

The writing of the documentary maintains some suspense, if the three men can really overcome all these impossible physical and medical obstacles.

The climbers sleep literally in covered hammocks hung from mountain wall faces. 

The official site is here.  I saw the film at Angelika Mosaic before a small late Sunday afternoon audience.

The film is shot with standard aspect ratio. I don’t see the R rating.

Wikipedia attribution link for northern India scene near Meru, by Soumit Ban, under Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 license. 

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