Touching the Void

2003

Adventure / Documentary / Drama / Sport

Synopsis


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Downloaded 100,730 times
November 30, 2014 at 02:15 PM

Cast

Nicholas Aaron as Simon Yates
720p
809.19 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 13 / 89

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Anig-2 10 / 10

Amazing: everyone must see this

This film describes the true story of a climbing accident in South America in 1985, using dramatisation with voice-overs and interview excerpts from the three British men who were actually involved. It may sound boring, but I cannot stress this enough: this film is much more tense, and nail-bitingly gripping, than any Hollywood action movie - because you know that everything you're seeing and hearing really did happen to these guys.

The story itself is incredible. It will redefine for you the capabilities of the human mind and body. There is action, sadness, hope, and even brilliant humour in places.

Please go and see this film; you won't regret it.

Reviewed by Ralph Michael Stein ([email protected]) 9 / 10

An Unusually Affecting, Hybrid Film of Mountaineering Peril


A recent article on "Touching the Void" focused on the reactions of mountaineers to films about their often deadly avocation. Many commented that virtually no movie dealing with mountain climbing felt real to them. I suspect that Kevin MacDonald's gripping part re-enactment, part-documentary may be the rare exception that will capture the interest of amateur and professional mountaineers. (I haven't climbed since 1966 when I and two fellow Army officers set the record for summiting Seoul, Korea's Namsan from its almost inaccessible east face.)

Simon, a very experienced climber, and Joe, a younger devotee, sought to be the first to reach the top of Peru's Siula Grande through a forbidding and unconquered approach. Before heading to a remote location to establish a base camp they picked up Richard, a traveler with no experience or interest in climbing but a hale-fellow-well-met willing to babysit the camp while the two adventurers climbed.

Getting to the top of the summit via an often near-sheer face was daunting enough and the duo made it. The trip back was the disaster. As one commented, eighty percent of injuries and deaths occur on the way down. Joe took a fall sustaining a very serious leg injury causing limited mobility, intractable pain and major damage. Simon figured out a way for the two to continue their descent but Joe later went crashing over the side and hung helplessly swinging in the air, his dead weight immobilizing Simon. Arguably both would have perished if this condition continued.

In what remains a roiling full-fledged controversy amongst the mountaineering fraternity, Simon believed he could only save his life by cutting the rope from which Joe, with whom he could not communicate, dangled. The rope cut, Simon made his way back to base camp sure that his companion was dead. Simon's descent was perilous but compared to the still living Joe's evolving ordeal it was a walk in the park.

Over almost a week, Joe survived on no food, virtually no water and sheer guts and determination to live. His trip down the mountain to within range of the tent where his weak voice was heard by the about to decamp climber and assistant is a truly unique and compelling survivor story, one of the most dramatic ever brought to film.

Both the real climbers and Richard are narrators whose story unfolds between re-enactments by non-speaking but truly athletic actors. The make-up crew did wonders here to capture the brutal battering each sustained, especially Joe, during the climb and descent. The photography is magnificent.

Joe has always maintained that he too would have cut the rope had his position and Simon's been reversed but his open and repeated acceptance of Simon's desperate act has been rejected by many mountaineers. I was particularly fascinated by this issue since as a law professor I begin my Criminal Law course, as do very many colleagues, with the very issue of necessity as a justification for one person to save his life by sacrificing the lives of others (no mountains but two celebrated cases involving the sea, one English, the other American, provide very similar moral and legal dilemmas to Simon and Joe's excruciating situation). While no legal action ensued from the Peru near tragedy, the same issues are there and remain for viewers to think about and discuss.

Both Joe and Simon continue to climb, Joe after six operations to his shattered leg. Their accomplishment in scaling Siula Grande has not to date been duplicated. That must give each extraordinary satisfaction.

This film is almost in a class of its own and I suspect it will become a talking point for climbers. For today's audience, attention was rapt and sighs and gasps escaped involuntarily as the climbers, and Joe especially, encountered one near fatal obstacle after the other.

9/10.

Reviewed by bob the moo 5 / 10

Gripping, moving and totally amazing. An amazing story that never fails to grip and is only made stronger by the dramatic recreations fuelled by Simon & Joe's recollections.

In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru - a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 feet, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevice and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevice. This is the story of how he got back down.

Yet another reason to lament the closing of Film Four's doors, this film is the cinematic equivalent of sitting listening to someone tell you an amazing story in their own words. The film is acted out in dramatised scenes but it is Joe's and Simon's words over the top that really will keep you hanging on. The dramatised scenes though, are still wonderful, it is very easy to forget that this was not somehow filmed at the time, not only do they look very, very real but they also look spectacular; when Joe talks about the imposing crevice he was in, the pictures on screen did much better at translating that into visuals than my non-mountaineering imagination could have done.

The two actors in the roles of Joe and Simon do a great job; like I said, it is very easy to forget they are actors or that this is a replay for the camera. However the real people are more interesting and it is they that drive the film. To hear Joe talk about what he did and felt puts so much more bone on the story that any Hollywood version could have managed. He is a great guy and I can only imagine what he went through. Simon on the other hand is more guarded. He never really goes below the facts, whereas I know he has issues underneath as he apparently was not as calm as he is on camera during the making of the film. The film ends with some captions - one of which being that Simon came under great criticism for cutting the rope from other climbers. However the talking heads bit never even touches the surface of what Simon had to go through after they all got home - in a way that would have been just as interesting a part of the film as what Joe went through.

As the story unfolds it is impossible not to sit shaking your head in amazement. At the start I was like everyone else 'why would you do this stuff for fun' etc, and I still think that, but the story is so gripping that it is impossible to think of anything else. The running time is generous and allows Simon to tell his story properly, it is amazing and the sense of impossible odds and the sheer pain involved is brought to the audience very well - even with a handful of people in the audience gasps and 'ah's' were very audible. Overall this film is more dramatic than any Hollywood drama I have seen in a long time. It is not without flaw but it is difficult to sit and just watch it - I was enthralled by it, a true dramatic human story that never let me get bored or distracted. By the end, Simon has put forward his many emotions so well that I was very moved. The only think that would have made this film better would have been a bit more of searching inside himself by Joe in the final 15 minutes, in my heart I doubt if I could ever forgive myself and I wonder how he did or if he did.

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