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Touching the Void 2004

R CC

Two men's thrilling and disastrous climb of the remote and treacherous Siula Grande in Peru. An incredible account of tragedy, friendship and human endurance.

Starring:
Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Drama, Adventure, Documentary
Director Kevin Macdonald
Starring Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron
Supporting actors Richard Hawking, Joe Simpson, Simon Yates, Ollie Ryall
Studio FilmFour Limited
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've seen countless movies over the years but I don't think I've ever been moved in quite the same way that I was watching Touching the Void. I first saw Touching the Void in a small art-house theater in Chicago, the experience was closer to going to church than going to the movies. The entire theater was dead quiet throughout the film but you could feel the tension throughout the room. After it was over I felt like I had been holding my breath for an hour and a half - incredible when you consider that, this being a documentary, I more or less knew how it was going to end - and others I talked to in the theater expressed the same feelings. I wasn't sure if anything would be lost in the transfer to DVD, it wasn't. Not only was the story just as gripping on the small screen but the extra features made a perfect movie-going experience even better. People marching off to see I, Robot or whatever other dreck Hollywood throws at us have no idea what they're missing in this masterpiece.
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Format: DVD
My son and I came out of the theater exhausted just by watching this quasi-documentary reenactment of the 1985 ascent up an unclimbed route on the Siula Grande glacier in Peru. The film's impact is heightened by the excellent cutting between the actor/climbers and Simon Yates and Joe Simpson, who recall their actions, reactions, and feelings nearly 20 years later. Disaster strikes on the descent, where -- as one of them notes -- "80 percent of accidents happen." After Simpson breaks his leg in a fall, Yates -- against impossible odds -- continues to try and get him down. Finally, Simpson falls again, off the edge of the mountain. After hours of hanging on to what feels like dead weight, Yates cuts the rope to prevent himself from being gradually pulled into the void. Simpson's survival and return to base camp is nothing short of miraculous, suggesting that man is never more tenacious about life than when he is closest to losing it. Though far different in its circumstances, his story rivals that of Shackleton and the Endurance in Antartica three quarters of a century before. An underlying issue, addressed briefly in the film, is whether Yates should have cut the rope. Apparently some other climbers criticized him for doing so, but Simpson always defended his action. I have no idea how well the technical aspects of Touching the Void are done, but to this mostly earthboard amateur, they looked brilliantly and truly shot. Danger and beauty are scarcely separable in Touching the Void. When you are not immersed in the terror of Yates' and, especially, Simpson's plight, the frigid beauty of the glacier, the colors within its crevasses are glorious. A story of recklessness and great determination, superbly told, filled with many "how did they ever shoot that?" moments, Touching the Void must be seen.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film, based upon the international best seller of the same name, recounts an amazing tale of courage, fortitude, and the will to live, despite dire circumstances. About twenty or so years ago, British mountaineers Joe Simpson and his then climbing partner, Simon Yates, attempted to ascend a perilous section of the Peruvian Andes, Suila Grande, a majestic 21,000 foot peak that was nearly inaccessible. These two intrepid climbers tackled the mountain alpine style and, surprisingly, reached the summit, the first mountaineers to do so.
After reaching the summit, however, tragedy struck on their descent, when Joe, up over 19,000 feet, fell and hit a slope at the base of a cliff, breaking his right leg and rupturing his right knee. Beneath him was a seemingly endless fall to the bottom. When Simon reached him, they both knew that the chances for getting Joe off the mountain were virtually non-existent. Yet, Simon Yates fashioned a daring plan to do just that. For the next few hours, they worked in tandem through a snowstorm, and managed a risky, yet effective, way of trying to lower Joe down the mountain.
Several thousand feet down, Joe, who was roped to Simon, dropped off an edge and found himself now free hanging in space, about six feet away from an ice wall, unable to reach it with his axe. The edge was over hung above him and the dark outline of a yawning crevasse lay directly below him. Joe could not get up, and Simon could not get down. In fact, Joe's weight began to pull Simon off the mountain. So, Simon was finally forced to do the only thing he could do under the circumstances. He cut the rope, believing that he was consigning his friend to certain death. Therein lies the tale. It is at this point in the film that the real story begins.
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Format: DVD
"Touching the Void" was also the name of the book that Joe Simpson wrote about the events shown in this astonishing movie. In 1985 Simon Yates and Joe went on one of those "we're going to do something that has never been done" kind of Mountain Climbs - up a previously unconquered approach up Siula Grande in the Andes.

My wife told me that the film wasn't at all what she was expecting, so it is perhaps worth describing the format of the film. A small film crew, a couple of actors and Joe and Simon themselves returned to Siula Grande in 2002. Richard Hawking, who maintained the base camp at the foot of Siula Grande while Joe and Simon went off on their death-defying climb, comes along as well and seems to have one of the most balanced viewpoints among the original three members. The movie intercuts interviews with Joe and Simon and Richard with footage shot for this movie with actors portraying them. The shots of the Andes and glaciers and icy crevaces are spectacular outdoor photography. The present day Joe, Simon and Richard tell an absolutely spell-binding story of heroism and perseverence and bravery.

Well before the end of the movie I found myself wondering how in the world Simon ever made it off that mountain, and he had by far the easier time of it. Joe's survival is one of the most incredible stories of human endurance you'll ever hear. Seeing that both Joe and Simon made it to the making of this movie removes some of the tension of "oh my goodness! will they make it!" but knowing the ultimate outcome doesn't relieve the edge-of-your-seat-white-knuckle tension of hearing this incredible story.

As a bonus there is additional footage of "what happens next" plus a mini-documentary on the making of the movie.
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