To be honest i hadn’t heard much of this highly awaited movie until the day before its screening here in Kathmandu. It was scheduled for 13th of December as one of the selected movies to be screened during the KIMFF film festival 2015. So here i was eagerly awaiting for the movie to start because there had been so much anticipation that this was going to be an awesome movie.
When the movie ended and the entire hall was filled with rapturous applause it was rightly justified. I thoroughly enjoyed the screening and it basically had me on the edge of my seat and even more so i think it tingled to my emotional side with the subject matter.
Directed and written by Jennifer Peedom the movie began with scenes of 2013 brawl between the Sherpas and the foreign climbers. Which was followed by scenes of the 2014 avalanche that took 16 Sherpa lives. The avalanche, the death toll and the stand the Sherpas took to make their voices heard was the poignant feature of the movie. The movie also shone light on the challenges that climbers actually face while climbing Everest. It talked in great depth and detail what makes Khumbu icefall the most dangerous spot during the climb. And most importantly it brought to light the fact that it is the sherpas who do the bulk of the risky tasks. The sherpas make multiple attempts ferrying the equipment and the goods from the base camp to the other camps above needed for the climb during the night. To climb Everest is a challenging ask, sherpas are doing it in the night that just speaks volumes of how much risk the sherpas put themselves in.
The footage of the 1953 British expedition team and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa is a highlight of the movie as well. It just builds up to how the shrepas effort has been undervalued and the politics within ever since the first ascent by Tenzing Norgay. The events aftermath the 2014 avalanche where the sherpas demanded their rights was a product of all these years of negligence towards them.
All in all the movie has been able to address a lot of issues for the sherpas and asks a lot of right questions to the concerned authority within the Nepali government and the expeditions companies to address the issues raised by the sherpas.
Moving on from the movie to the discussion session that was held. After the main course fit for the king the dessert had to be something special. But it was a disaster to begin with. Not blaming the organizers and the host who was doing his best but it was just the speakers that turned up were so disappointing and had no idea what they were talking about. At one point i even thought i was not paying much attention and that is why it wasn’t making much sense to me. I asked a foreigner sitting right beside me if any of this made any sense and turned out i wasn’t the only one who thought it was a rather drab session.
At the end what the discussion did was unfortunately turn all the attention from what had been such a positive movie experience to a dull and a rather forgetful discussion session.