Touching the Void

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I saw an excellent movie on wednesday, Touching the Void, a true story about two British climbers that went to Peru to climb the west face of Siula Grande and how their journey goes horribly wrong.

Note, although I don't overwhelm with details below, it is possible some may feel I say too much about the movie. Just so you know.

The movie switches back and forth between the talking heads of the original climbers describing what happened and a brutally realistic re-enactment by actors playing the young climbers. The movie scared the crap out of me. Some horrible situations and some extremely tough decisions.

You witness one of the climbers change from a confident, fearless young man into a broken, abandoned cripple that has shed all dignity. I found these scenes almost overwhelming in their realism and subject matter. Which is why I was confused that a good portion of the theatre (including a friend I saw the movie with) laughed uproariously at anything that was even remotely funny. For instance at one point one of the climbers is describing, with a somewhat reserved expression, how he actually came to enjoy the sensation of urinating in his clothing. This for many was laugh-out-loud funny. "HAHA, he just said urinate!"

Check out the movie. It really is incredible. Just don't forget your compassion at home.


The book was excellent, and pretty gut-wrenching. Not sure I could watch the movie without a lot of painful squirming, knowing what was coming up.

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This page contains a single entry by Dylan published on March 5, 2004 11:34 AM.

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