Sunday, May 16, 2010

Movies: North Face

North Face chronicles the attempts of Germans and Austrians to climb the Eiger in 1936. No man had climbed the north face, and this, among other crackpot goals of the Third Reich, was not acceptable to Hitler and his entourage. Thus, it was decided that summiting the Eiger would be the perfect way for Nazi Germany to jumpstart the 1936 Olympic Games.

A summit was encouraged and two of the climbers, Andreas Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz, made an attempt in July of 1936, although, it is worth mentioning, not for the glory of Nazi Germany, which makes them much more likable in the movie. North Face focuses on their attempt, although other climbers weave in and out of the story. To be cliché, but accurate, it is an edge-of-your-seat thriller, which has received many positive reviews. I would also recommend it for its beautiful shots of the Alps and a window into the now extinct era of exploring, when you could say you were the first to summit the Eiger via its north face.

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