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The Summit


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The Summit + Touching the Void + North Face
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite
  • Directors: Nick Ryan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00FYV7WD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,900 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In August, 2008, 18 mountain climbers reached the top of K2, the second-highest mountain in the world. 48 hours later, 11 people were dead, making it the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing histroy. While memorials paid tribute to those killed, there were also condemnations about why.' Why do these athletes risk everything to reach a place humans are simply not meant to go? Why do they put their lives and the lives on others on the line in order to satisfy some undefinable need?
 
With breathtaking cinematography and jaw dropping reenactments based on the testimony of those who survived the climb, THE SUMMIT is a thrilling documentary about the very nature of adventure in the modern world.

Customer Reviews

This is quite obviously not the motive of this film's makers.
R. Proulx
What it does demonstrate is how many people are put at risk when one person is attempted to be rescued at altitude.
Amory Ross
Hopefully someone else will make a film about K2 in the future that is watchable, because this isn't it.
AlrightyThen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Abysis212 on January 21, 2014
Format: DVD
A fascinating documentary of the tragedy of 2008 expedition on K2. This movie was engaging in content though poorly organized in terms of presentation.

I love a good mountain climbing and survival movie. Touching the Void is my favorite documentary in the harrowing high altitude category. The Summit, which was apparently produced by the same company, attempts to use a similar approach to telling their story. They interview survivors, use found footage, and film on location and elsewhere a recreation of events. While the story itself is fascinating, the cinematography and found footage excellent, the overall organization and presentation is choppy and often frustrating. The 2008 story is interspliced with the account of Walter Bonatti from a 1954 Italian expedition on K2. Just as one story starts to get interesting the filmmakers cut back to the other. Often in films this has the effect of building suspense and intrigue but here it manages to destroy the momentum of both stories and over time achieve a slightly maddening effect. Furthermore the 2008 story bounces around in time a lot with the same footage getting shown on several occasions. It again draws more attention to the production choices and away from the story itself. A more linear approach to the story telling would have been better.

The movie also lacks the intimacy and depth that Touching the Void was able to achieve. Perhaps because so many people are involved, perhaps because its a different director. I don't know. However, there are a couple real gems of people to be found in this movie. Pemba, the Nepalese climber, who, for his heroism, was later named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic is one of them.

Overall, the movie kept me interested. I was never bored. I do recommend viewing it if you are interested in such subject matter and are willing to overlook some of its production flaws.
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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful By R. Proulx on February 1, 2014
Format: DVD
I am a high altitude mountain climber. These matters are studied by us in the coldest most unemotional way, as indeed they must be, if any instructive lessons are to be drawn from such incidents. This is quite obviously not the motive of this film's makers. Consequently, few if any questions are answered and little to no sense is made of this tragedy.

This movie goes out of its way to be sensitive to the living, and to leave unexplored the most unprofessional and even insane decision making of many who took part in this disaster in the making. It seems far more about allowing bereaved widows mourn their loved ones than an attempt to answer the only really important question, Why? To do this, it ignores an enormous amount of crucial detail, much of which is included even in the Wikipedia article. By the way, you will learn more from Wiki than you will from this film.

Even when examples of clearly bad decision making are exposed, the uninformed viewer will not realize it for the film's makers make no sort of clear declarative statement expressing just how inexplicable said decision was. The makers absolutely refuse to take any kind of a stand. No doubt this would have been controversial, or, it may have hurt people's feelings, and we certainly can't have any of that. There is no attempt to deal honestly and frankly with what happened.

The order of the film, I guess you would say the editing, is a confusing jumble of scenes with little order or sense. It jumps all over the place. Strictly from an entertainment perspective, it is bad movie-documentary making and I, a complete sucker for mountain movies, had a very hard time watching it through to the end. Not even its occasional beautiful cinematography can save this utterly disappointing mess of a film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim A on August 31, 2014
Format: DVD
Having read the outstanding book "Buried in the Sky" last year and after following a K2 expedition online this past summer, I finally made the effort to watch this film. I'd seen ads for it before and it looked mesmerizing and incredible: the events of August 1-2, 2008 are cinematic in their own right without any need for further dramatization.

As I watched the film, I was completely engrossed in the visuals, and wished some movie theaters in my part of the country had screened it. The actual documentary footage from the mountain flowed seemlessly into the re-enacted bits, and none of the film was shot on blue screen nor did it rely on digital FX. Every time the camera opened up to a wide shot of K2, or panned over some of the climbers to give a view of the Karakoram below, I was captivated.

But the good parts of the film essentially end here. I waited and waited, and with the last twenty minutes of the film remaining, I realized that the film really wasn't going anywhere, and was "playing it safe" to the point of being obstructionist and uninformative. The filmmakers even seem to have forgotten what the preview had attempted to illustrate: this would be a film about a tragedy cloaked in mystery and unanswered questions.

As other reviewers have noted, the questions go unanswered, but I'll take it a step further and posit that I don't think the film even ASKED any questions. Were it not for my own background reading on the subject, I would have come away from the film completely confused about what happened up there and why.

Of the numerous omissions from the film, one that really sticks out in my mind is the absence of Chiring Sherpa's free-climb down the bottleneck with his companion Pasang clinging to him and helping kick in steps.
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