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High Ground 2012

NR CC
4.6 out of 5 stars (17) IMDb 5.7/10

11 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan join an expedition to climb the 20,000 foot Himalayan giant Mount Lobuche in an attempt to heal emotional and physical wounds from the longest war in U.S. history.

Starring:
Steve Baskis, Dan Sidles
Runtime:
1 hour, 31 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Michael Brown
Starring Steve Baskis, Dan Sidles
Supporting actors Katherine Ragazzino, Matt Nyman, Brian Mockenhaupt, Cody Miranda, Nicolette Maroulis, Aaron 'Ike' Isaacson, Ashley Crandall, Chad Butrick, Chad Jukes, Lona Parten, Justin Moore, Luis Benitez, Brad Bull, Jeff Evans, Didrik Johnck, Erik Weihenmayer, Jeff Messner, Chris Morris
Studio Khumbu Pictures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carrie Regan on November 14, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD after seeing this beautiful film because I simply had to own it. The characters are incredible, and they--and the filmmaker--are brave enough to tell their stories warts and all. In doing so they expose their vulnerabilities, which makes their achievements that much more remarkable and inspiring. It's taught me more about the experiences of veterans and Wounded Warriors than any other film, if only by showing the variety and complexity of the issues they face coming home.

The filmmaker allows the characters to tell their own stories in a way that really does justice to the depth of their experiences and emotions. Combine all that with stunning cinematography and a powerful music score and it's hands-down my favorite doc of the year. I must have cried five times watching it and still get tears in my eyes when I think of it. Thank you to the filmmaker for making High Ground, and to characters in it for being brave enough to tell your stories.

Everyone needs to see this film!
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Deeply moving, sad, and ultimately uplifting documentary that earns its mostly happy ending. I went in worrying that this portrait of 10 wounded soldiers (some damaged physically, all emotionally), and one mother of a son who had died in action teaming up to climb a giant mountain in Nepal would feel sappy or pat. But these men and women are so open, so raw and so honest in their stories, their grief, pain and in some cases bitterness, that I ended up feeling more understanding and empathy for what people in uniform go through – before, during and after war – than I remember from almost any other documentary.

Far from ‘get over it’, this is all about ‘go through it’ – starting to heal by admitting and even embracing your scars, not denying them in some macho fashion. And by concentrating on the personal backstories of these very brave ex-soldiers, by the time we do get to them working as a team to conquer of the massive mountain (in spite of suffering blindness, missing limbs, intense PTSD, etc), there’s no sap to be found, just rooting for good human beings to regain control of their lives and pride in themselves, even if just for a moment. It also gets quite tense in that climb in that not everything goes smoothly or neatly. Nicely shot as well. A powerful sleeper of a documentary, well worth seeing and a ridiculously cheap purchase as of this writing.
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Format: DVD
The new documentary "High Ground" is an emotionally charged, yet surprisingly understated, story of survival, hope, and perseverance that touched me quite deeply. There are so many documentary choices about being in battle and the emotional and physical toll it can take, just witnessing these harrowing stories can be devastating. But few films that I've seen on the subject have been so simple, so straightforward, and so quietly powerful as "High Ground." Its subtlety is its key. As a chronicle of war, as a story of its devastating aftermath, and as a adventure travelogue--this film really accomplishes a lot. And it doesn't achieve its power through big dramatic moments, but with candid revelations and insights from its group of participants. Each member of this expedition faces the camera and gives you a glimpse into their personal life and their experience in the war. And in these intimate moments, we see a real cross section of what our military personnel must endure. But "High Ground" doesn't aim for political commentary, it just allows its subjects the freedom to share their demons as well as their triumphs in a heartfelt and open way.

Eleven veterans sign up to climb Mount Lobuche in the Himilayas, and this film records their preparation as well as the actual attempt. Led by Erik Weihenmeyer, a world class climber who happens to be blind, the battle scarred veterans must overcome inflictions of the brain, the body, and the spirit to make this attempt. I've seen Weihenmeyer on TV, he's a remarkable guy and a fascinating story, but he stays largely in the background as this is about the veterans. Some of the party have suffered loss of limb, one is blind, some have brain injuries, and others are struggling with PTSD.
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High Ground breaks the moldy notion of the beleaguered helpless and crazed veteran, so often perpetuated by Hollywood. The focus is eleven wounded warriors who live with seen and unseen wounds, and climb 20,000 ft Mt Lobuche in the Himalayas. The viewer gets an insight of their graphic recollections of war, describing how their wounds impact their lives. All of the veterans have a variety of wounds --from PTSD, TBI, limb amputations, blindness to anxiety and panic disorders. The audience gets a good idea of what it is like to adjust to a "new normal," or as many of them indicate, the hard part is coming home. Their activities are all filmed in the dramatic and breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Make no mistake: this is not a tourist film about Nepal! It's a human story about veterans, who went to war, along with a mother who lost hers, and now are on the journey home. Both the military community and civilians with no military knowledge, will find plenty to inspire them and be grateful for in High Ground.
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