7:30 PM, 23rd September, 2014
This documentary looks at the pivotal moment when two men became the first to reach the summit of the highest mountain on Earth. These men were of course Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, and the mountain was Mount Everest. Even now it is super dangerous to climb, but there’s no doubt that it has become considerably easier nowadays than it was in 1953. Back then, no one was even sure it could be done.
At the risk of stating the obvious this film is all about the visuals, and it is for that reason that it must be seen on the big screen. Your home TV or laptop just won’t do justice to the incredible journey these men went on. The mountain is stunning, in particular the scenes that show the cliff face where the men camped on the last night before they reached the summit and a beautiful 360-degree pan showing the amazing Himalayas.
There is not a lot of real filmed footage of the expedition. Mainly the film is made up of archive photographs along with dramatic reconstructions of the climb, with commentary made up of archive interviews from the men and new accounts from surviving relatives. However the reconstructions are incredibly well done, with well-chosen actors who do seem to resemble the real people. Documentaries aren’t for everyone, but I think this film is really well done and a great way to experience a key historical adventure and a view that only a few will ever get to see in real life.