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Storm Over Everest

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

As darkness fell on May 10, 1996, a fast moving storm of unimaginable ferocity trapped three climbing teams high on the slopes of Mount Everest. The climbers, exhausted from their summit climb, were soon lost in darkness, in a fierce blizzard, far from the safety of High Camp at 26,000 feet. World-renowned climber and filmmaker David Breashears, who aided the rescue efforts back in 1996, now returns to Everest to tell the fuller story of what really happened on that legendary climb. Through remarkably intimate interviews with the climbers and Sherpas many who have never spoken before on American television Breashears sheds new light on the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest s history.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nova
  • Directors: Nova
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019KBIRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,930 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I saw this on PBS in May of 2008. I had previously seen 'Into Thin Air' several times which is the account by a writer, Jon Krakauer, who was on this fateful climb. I enjoyed this movie a great deal more since it was in the words of those caught in the storm that night. It felt more 'real' to hear their recounts of what happened and what they went through. I trust David Breashears account given the number of times he has climbed Everest and his experiences. He had to bring down the body of a climber who died during that very trip, Chen Yu-Nan. If you want to know what can happen to a climber on Everest, this is the DVD for you.
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I saw David Breashears documentary movie "Storm over Everest" on Frontline and I was captivated by this dramatic battle between nature and men and the professional and "breathtaking" making of this film. I knew what happened on Everest's southeast ridge during the night of May 10, 1996, because I read Krakauer's and Boukreev's books about this tragedy but it's a completely different thing to watch the story in Breashears outstanding and realistic movie and to see and listen to the live comments of people who survived this terrible storm night above 26000 feet on the highest mountain on earth.
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Just happened upon this last night on late night PBS and was immediately captivated by the simple presentation, the intensity of the climbers' memories and the haunted looks in their eyes. I'd never really read much about this mess and it was interesting to learn the story from the varying viewpoints of those who survived.

At first I felt for the guides who died up there while trying to babysit some of the moneyed folk ($65k each, at the time; some were funded by NBC), at least a few of whom didn't do enough homework and put everyone in their expeditions at risk, but uber-guide Jim Williams says, on the PBS website, that the real fault lies with the guides' letting the weak climbers go further than they should, risking others' lives so they could reach the summit.

The guides are there to make money and might downplay the risks, so it's a two-way blame street. Sandy Hill, the NBC-funded "New York socialite" who brought an espresso maker, two laptops, and a video player to watch movies in her tent (all carried by porters, of course), was "short-roped" up to the summit AND down, and used far more than her share of the oxygen tanks available. There ought to be tests for fitness to do this trek, but enough cash is the main issue, and that blame lays with the guides. This Frontline special lacks the usual hard-hitting both-sides Frontline tone, but its charms outweigh its faults.

The PBS website has the film available for viewing, as well as many other features with the director and survivors. Very nice package, and the price--free--is right. Ain't it amazing to get something back from your tax dollars for a change?
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Contains interviews with those who were actually there when the disaster took place and lived to tell about it. Narrated by David Breshears, who was also there with IMAX, this documentary contains first-hand accounts from Charlotte Fox, Sandy Pittman, Neal Beidleman, and Lene Gammelgaard (Mountain Madness team); Beck Weathers, Ang Dorje Sherpa, Mike Groom, Helen Wilton, Lou Kasischke, and John Taske (Adventure Consultants team); and Makalu Gau Ming-Ho (Taiwanese leader). Video re-enactments with interviews are captivating. I went back and read Into Thin Air again after watching this. Incredible story and horrific tragedy!
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This was the best documentary I have seen on Everest. I've watched almost all of them and have read many books. Sure, I haven't been there, but the descriptions of the mountain and the events that took place by everyone fills you with excitement, sadness and interest. I thought this was extremely well done. Let me address some of the other criticisms from other amazon reviewers directly.

"Breshears' sanitized studio interviews and boring re-enactments remove all immediacy from the story. It's hard to imagine a situation as desperate as the trapped climbers being reduced to pablum, but Breshears manages it.
Forget this film and read Jon Krakauer's book INTO THIN AIR, which does far better justice to the event."

I also encourage you to read Into Thin Air...it is a great book. The main focus of the documentary is not the reenactments...they aren't the best, I agree. However the main focus is the interviews themselves. Hearing people tell the stories is where it comes to life, not from the reenactments that only make up a small fraction of the time of the documentary.

"If you start watching this even after a little research into the events it will seem dull and one sided. Events and people have been left out."

Wait...you mean to tell me that not EVERY single perspective and EVERY single side of EVERYONE's story was told!? What rubbish...I don't think I've ever seen that in ANY documentary. I've read a lot about the events before and it was still fascinating to actually hear the words come from the people who survived on the mountain and see their emotions when talking.
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