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FILM REVIEWS:

 

BENEDICTION (UK 2021) ****
Directed by Terence Davies

 

Those who enjoyed A LONG DAY CLOSES and DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES will be pleased to be entertained with more of the same by Terence Davies in this more ambitious effort that includes both a stronger narrative and a personal touch.  Lots of music and songs with scenes reminiscent (like the cinema theatre scene) of THE LONG DAY CLOSES but it is surely the beautifully written and spoken English that brightens this mostly darkly themed effort.  BENEDICTION as the title implies, a sombre and sumptuous portrait of 20th-century English poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden as the younger and Peter Capaldi as the senior).  Sassoon’ s attempt at conscientious objection to the war leads to his being committed to a Scottish hospital, where he meets and mentors fellow poet and soldier Wilfred Owen.  Director Davies tracks much of Sassoon’s life after the war as a chain of fraught romances — most notably with actor and homme fatale Ivor Novello — and ongoing questions of sexual identity, social mores, and integrity both artistic and personal, leading to Sassoon’s late conversion to Catholicism and struggle to connect with his son.  Director Davies, who himself is gay, clearly leaves his imprint, especially in the dialogue he has written for the script, in the poet’s biography and it makes nothing less than superb cinema.

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BLEEDING AUDIO (USA 2020) ***
Directed by Chelsea Christer


BLEEDING AUDIO follows an American rock band, started as The Locals, transforming and changing their name to The Matches.   They hail from Oakland, California, active from 1997 to 2009.   As the Matches, they self-released their debut album E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals in 2003, then signed to Epitaph Records who re-released it the following year. Decomposer followed in 2006, seeing the band move from their pop punk roots in a more idiosyncratic direction with contributions from nine different record producers; it reached no. 18 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart.  The latest on the band invoking them going on hiatus in 2009, releasing a digital album of unreleased songs and demos. Between 2014 and 2018 they reunited several times for shows and tours celebrating the ten year anniversaries of each of their studio albums, resulting in three live albums and a new single.  

Director Chelsea Christer’s documentary has a hidden agenda.  It eventually tells the story of how this punk band got screwed by the music industry and (almost) survived. 

The documentary can be divided into 3 parts.   The first part introduces  the band to the audience.  It begins touting how good the band is.   More is shown of thefts praising how great the band is, rather than the audience hearing the songs performed by the band.  Many of them tattoo the songs performed by the band and other band paraphernalia on their bodies.  The band members are introduced.  They include:

Shawn Harris – rhythm guitar, lead vocals;

Matt Esposito – lead guitar, backing vocals;

Justin San Souci – bass guitar, backing vocals;

Matt Whalen – drums, percussion;

Jonathan Devoto – lead guitar, backing vocals;

Dylan Rowe – bass guitar, backing vocals.

The second part of the doc traces the charge of the times and how the band got screwed.  It is mentioned that Matt Whalen is the most business-like member of the band.   The band grew a thriving cult fanbase worldwide, yet remained virtually penniless. Their story overlaps with the drastic changes of the music industry since the takeover of the digital revolution— from declining sales to excessive touring, to illegal downloading and streaming.  It is fortunate that the film studios camped down on illegal pirating of films or the big studios and the film industry would have faced the same deadly fate.  In the East in Hong Kong, this saw the collapse of two major Hong Kong film studios, Shaw Brothers and Cathay organization, leading to the closing of not only the studios but movie theatres.  Cinemagoers should think twice before ‘booing’ at piracy warnings at the beginning of screenings.  The doc also puts partial blame on the band for not registering their songs and therefore losing royalties for 6 years.  The doc includes interviews from some of music’s biggest names like Mark Hoppus (Blink 182), Nick Hexum (311) and Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s), Bay Area filmmaker Chelsea Christer’s uplifting tribute tracks.

The third part of the doc shows the band’s successful re-union despite odds like the guitarists’ crippling hands disease.

BLEEDING AUDIO is the real thing -  a fast paced doc that shows how impossible it is to succeed in the Music industry despite all the talent a band might possess. 

BLEEDING AUDIO opens on digital and video on demand on Friday, May 27, 2022.

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DAZZLING MIRAGE (Nigeria 2014) ***
Directed by Tunde Kelani

 

DAZZLING MIRAGE is a 2014 Nigerian drama film, produced and directed by Tunde Kelanii that finally gets its premiere this week on Netflix.  The ambitious but flawed film is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Olayinka Abimbola Egbokhare, adapted to screen by Ade Solanke.  Through telling the story of a young sickle-cell patient, Funmiwo “Funmi” (Kemi 'Lala' Akindoju) for short and the various social and emotional challenges she is faced with, the film aims at both making the world aware of the sickle cell disease as well as the prejudices faced by the sickle cell sufferers.  Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person's parents.  The most common type is known as sickle cell anaemia, featured in the film.   It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin found in red blood cells, leading to a rigid, sickle-like shape.  A number of health problems may develop, such as attacks of pain, as suffered by Funmi.

Instead of making a documentary on the subject of sickle cell  sufferers, the filmmakers opt to use a fiction story of a sickle cell sufferer to accomplish their goal.

The story follows Funmi at work and at home.  The film opens with an introduction to her at both her workplace and at home.  At home, she is visited by her over-bearing mother (Carol King) complaining about her being alone without the boyfriend and not resting enough while getting too stressed at work.  When Munmi insists she has a boyfriend, it is revealed that she and Sanya (Seun Akindele) have been dating for 6 years.  Actress Carol King who plays mum, is nothing short of superb in her colourful role as domineering presence, she wearing equally colourful Nigerian clothes to match.  King makes her role funny, entertaining and smart and she is the best thing in this movie, stealing every scene she is in, whether demonstrating comedy or drama.  She makes the melodrama so entertaining that one can forgive its sentimentality and cliches.  At work during one important business presentation, Funmi has sudden pains and has to rush to the pharmacy for painkillers which she is unable to re-fill.  The audience sees her as an efficient and fierce worker, clinching an important media contract for her company.  Funmi eventually finds love in the arms of her boss, Dotun (Kunle Afolayan) who works together with her on her new, big project,

The script is filled with cliches. “Recovering from the illness means both getting better, health-wise and accepting the sickness,” the doctor tells Funmii, who initially is in denial of the disease.  She finally succumbs and attends a support group.

The film’s best and most hilarious scene has Dotun visiting Funmi’s house on the pretext of bringing her some work files, but in reality wanting to see her.  Funmi is out, and he meets mum instead.  Mum just adores the new suitor, compared to the 6-year old suitor and cooks and invites him for dinner.   The way mum carries on with Dotun just stringing along, much to Funmi’s astonishment is brilliant on the script's part.

Despite the predictable and cliched storyline, the film is totally entertaining for the fact that everyone involved in the film appears to be totally convicted of the film’s goal on the sickle sickness.  Performances are nothing short of stellar.  The fact that the film comes from Nigeria helps as North American audiences get to see how Nigerians live as well as to witness their colourful culture.

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GODSPEED (Yolun Acik Olsun)(Turkey 2021) **
Directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin

 

Based on the book "Yolun Acik Olsun”, GODSPEED is a Netflix road movie from the country of Turkey.  Turkey is a beautiful country that stretches along the coast and a road movie seems inevitable to come along.  Subscribers of Netflix get a chance to witness a road movie from Turkey - a first.

In GODSPEED, two men plan to crash a wedding.  One of them, Kerim is upset with his love being wed to someone else, and he enlists his war buddy, Salih to help him get his girl, the bride back.  This is a premise based on the notion that if  everything goes wrong in ones life, one has to take control of the situation and try to make things right.

Two men are on a  road trip in a stolen Mercedes with the aim of  crashing and destroying  a wedding.  Kerim’s soul mate Elif is being forced into wedlock and the marriage must be stopped.  Kerim and  Salih drive Turkey’s picturesque highways in the vintage Mercedes making small talk and indulging in further robberies, heading towards this momentous showdown.

For Salih as well, his life has not gone right.  Salih has lost a leg in a war, he, now fitted with a prosthetic one.  He suffers from trauma hearing high pitched sounds in his head.  Salih and Kerim are army buddies, though different in rank.  They are like brothers, and despite constant arguing, they end up rooting for each other.

The premise sounds ideal for a solid film that would offer audiences insight on life despite life’s adversaries.  The script also includes subplots that would amuse and entertain.  During the road trip Salih rescues a partridge from being cooked for dinner only to have it shot when he lets it go free in a forest.

  Despite such insertions into the story, these ploys come across as manipulative.  Worst is the sentimentality that follows the two.  Salih is shown, through flashbacks, a wife who loves him despite his faults and one who has found what she is looking for, discarding her parents’ wishes.   The sex scene between her and Salih, however looks too contrived to have any effect.

What turns out to be an interesting premise for a script ends up in muddled execution.  The flashbacks that reveal the past of the two protagonists leading to their road trip are clumsily done.  Kerim is shown with long hair and Salih with a  full beard which takes a while for the audience to realize that these are the same two people.

The film contains too much sentimentality.  There is too much screaming and crying on the part of  Salih’s wife.  One can probably blame the source material (the book) for the highlighted emotional characters.

The pacing could be improved.  Instead ofTrailer: the film accelerating to an exciting or dramatic climax, it drags on.  The climatic crash of the wedding is a let down with Kerim left in the car while Salih threatens the wedding guests with a gun.

Despite the film’s many flaws, GODSPEED is still a rare movie to be watched -  a Turkish road movie from Netflix.  GODSPEED also reveals a beautiful Turkey with its long coastal roads by the sea.  Netflix has offered audiences around the world a chance to see commercial films from different countries - and deserves credit for that.  Netflix’s recent THE TAKEDOWN from France, for example, is a commercial action comedy that works.

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IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE (South Korea 2021) **

Directed by Hong Sang-too

 

Two Asian films make their debut at the same time this week at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.  These two films share the common trait about an actress trying to score a role in a new film.  Both films are slow burns and yes, there is hardly anything going on and both films require patience.  One is from South Korea called IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE by veteran director of over two dozen films - Hong Sang-too, in subpar mode here with a messy, seemingly meandering tale and the other from China entitled RIPPLES OF LIFE, China’s Shujun Wei second feature that premiered last year at Cannes director’s fortnight.

IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE is typical Hong Sang-soo.  It is a very low-budget, occasionally improvised piece with a twist usually at the end of the film. Hong has done better as in HILL OF FREEDOM where there is much more humour as well as a sort of supernatural and mythical twist.  In IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE, the twist is predictable with the subject revealing that she is sick and has not much time to live.  If all of Hong;s films share a  similar structure, they fail to surprise after a while.

The film opens with the subject observing her sister sleeping in the apartment.  After years living abroad, former actress Sangok (Lee Hyeyoung) is back in Seoul, staying with her sister Jeongok (Cho Yunhee) in her high-rise apartment.  The siblings sleep late, have breakfast in a cafe and visit a restaurant owned by Jeongok's son.  The breakfast sounds really boring - coffee and toast, but the cafe has an idyllic setting by a riveIn Front of Your Face, which is quite scenic.  But as the details of Sangok's day accrue (a spill on her blouse, an encounter at her childhood home), it becomes clear that there is much she is not revealing. And these mysterious circumstances have something to do with her decision to meet with film director Jaewon (Kwon Haehyo) to discuss her return to acting.  Sangkok says that everything she sees in front of her face is ‘grace’ and that it is paradise.

There is nothing really going on, and very slowly at that.  One can argue that it is the keen observations that make a Hong film special, and in a way this is true.  One can probably wonder why the spill on the blouse does not bother Sangkok or just dismiss it as something that is unimportant.

The film’s most interesting segment is the restaurant scene where the two keep drinking and getting drunk.  At one point, Sangkok confronts the director asking him whether it is his intention to want to sleep with her, which he answers affirmatively.  Again, nothing much occurs from the incident as they part in the fleeting rain, perhaps a nod to Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL but this time, the couple have an umbrella.

IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE makes its debut at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week.  It runs a slow 81 minutes.

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LUX AETERNA (France 2019) **

Directed by Gasper Noe

 

LUX AETERNA arrives in Toronto after VORTEX though it was made and released in France and premiered at Cannes before VORTEX.  For commercial audiences, beware as this is an experimental film, which means that there is no head or tail and this is true for the film.  It is a 2019 French independent experimental art film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, screened out of competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film makes heavy use of epileptic imagery, split-screen, and 1920s-esque documentary footage involving witchcraft.  Though running at only an hour and 5 minutes, it is a hard watch.

The film’s premise follows two actresses who are to play the part of two out of three witches burnt at the stake in a film about witches.  The third witch is played by Abbey Lee.  The first part of LUX AETEERNA has them, mainly Dalle talking shit - about witches and about other things.  Then the film shoot starts and everything goes wrong.  But according to the director, it is perfect for the film to be shot and he continues shooting, much to the anger of Dalle..  Nothing makes much sense!  The chaos at the film’s end is observed with strobing lights and screeching sounds.  The film occasionally uses split screen, again more utilized in Noe’s VORTEX.

To Noe’s credit, he has enlisted two of France’s most respected actresses , Beatrice Dalle who rose tofu from Jean-Jacques Beineix’s BETTY BLUE.  Dalle has had quite a reputation in real life.  The other is Charlotte Gainsbourg, wife of filmmaker Yvan Attal.  Both play themselves in the film.

LUX AETERNA is an often frustrating experimental film that leads nowhere and comes across as pretentious and confusing. Gaspar Noe fans would be the only ones who would forgive the director for his major excesses as in this film and in the recent CLIMAX.  There is a bit about art in films from Noe.

The film ends after the end credits: “Thank God I’m an atheist.”  Noe has paid respect to great directors like Jean-Luc Godard using his colourful titles in his first film CARNE and now does likewise with the end credits quoted from Luis Bunuel.

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RICKY GERVAIS: SUPERNATURE (USA 2022) **

Directed by John L. Spencer

 

Ricky Gervais gives his take on the rules of comedy, spoiling his cats and how super actual nature is in his second Netflix stand-up special.

Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, and writer and a very well-known household name.  Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s.  Gervais has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town, the Night at the Museum trilogy, For Your Consideration, and Muppets Most Wanted.  He wrote, directed, and starred in The Invention of Lying and the Netflix-released Special Correspondents.   But he gained both fame and notoriety when hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, and again in 2020.   He is famous for insulting the Hollywood celebrities and when admonished, he would bravely continue with his act saying: “I don’t care”.

For that very reason, Gervais is disliked if not hated by many.  In his latest and second Netflix stand-up comedy film, this one with him performing in London in 2021, Gervais once again oblivious of the hurt and carelessness his ‘humour’ has caused.  The film has already garnered major complaints from the trans community.  His racist jokes he makes are just as bad.  During his routine, he continues to laugh out loud.  Yes, Gervais laughs at his own jokes when performing, as if there is no one to laugh with him.  One just does not tell racist jokes any more.  Just as offensive as Mickey Rooney was feigning a Japanese accent and putting on makeup with slant eyes in Blake Edwards' BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’s Gervais’ jokes on the ‘chinaman’ is equally awful..  His jokes on ‘trans’ women who he says, should not have a penis is just as offensive.

The funniest part of SUPERNATURAL occurs in the first few minutes when Gervais claims that he is just bloke talking - referring to his standup comedy.  He goes on a rant about female comics, which is clever and hilarious without being  insulting as it is true when he says that the audience knows he is being ironic rather than being insulting to female comics.  He admits he knows female comics like Eddie Izzard and Dame Edna.  Those unfamiliar with these British icons will miss the joke.  But true to form, his success gets the better of him and he eventually falls into the trap of feeling too confident about himself.

According to the press notes, Gervais wrote and performed the material.  So, he has himself to blame for the offensive bits.  But Gervais is still, undoubtedly, a talented comedian and his humour can be wickedly funny.  Particularly crude but hilarious is his number of cats, particularly his split cat pet.  He goes on about their prickly penises, compared to penises of dogs.  Gervais is an animal lover and has donated a quarter million pounds of this performance to three animal charities.

Gervais admits he is overweight and that he loves to drink and eat.  He confesses that he is rich enough to go and pay too much for a gym membership because he is rich and can afford it.  When he makes himself the target of the jokes, Gervais comes across the funniest.  Eventually he says that he does not feel guilty about paying too much and not going to the gym because he is so rich, he just doesn’t care.

RICKY GERVAIS; SUPERNATURE opens on Netflix this week.  The show is sporadically funny, sporadically disgustingly offensive depending who one is, but Gervais has his fans and one cannot doubt that there are hilarious parts in the show.

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RIPPLES OF LIFE (China 2021) ***
Directed by  Shujun Wei

 

In RIPPLES OF LIFE, a film crew arrives in a remote town Yong'an, the fresh air they bring in spreads ripples in the heart of the owner of a local restaurant who lives a boring life with the family of her husband.

The film is divided into 3 parts, the first is entitled ‘Waiting Alone’.

“Nothing ever happens in Yong’an.”  This is a sentence that gets repeated as one of the lines in the script used to determine if a local can replace  the actress who is rumoured to have quit.  It is not that credible that she would be selected to play the part.  Nothing much really happens in the film either.  There is a lot of waiting going on.  Gu, the woman, does nothing much but tends to her baby, the baby appearing to be crying the majority of the time.  The filmmakers that descend into the village do not really look like filmmakers either.  They look more like country bumpkins.  But to give the film credit, not all filmmakers look like the wealthy Hollywood type, travelling in style that most audiences are familiar with.   Chinese filmmakers perhaps, those involved with small productions probably look like country bumpkins.

The second part is oddly called “It looks beautiful’.

In the segment, the star of the movie turns up in Yong’an, her hometown to the delight of the village folk.  But Che Chen desires the life that she missed by being a star.  One impressive moment occurs in the hotel room where Chen Chen meets her old classmate who is working there as housekeeping, cleaning the room.  When Chen Chen asks her to socialize, she says no, giving the reason that her husband is preparing dinner.  The camera is on Chen Chen as her classmate switches off the room light, her image then turning dark as the light is turned off, reflecting the loneliness she feels.  The segment also ends with a beautiful image of an eye drawn with a finger on the inner window of the train using the condensation of the air.  The image of the eye starts dripping, looking as if a tear is dripping from the eye, reflecting the sadness and disappointment of Chen Chen who drew the eye.

The third and last segment is entitled ‘A Pluto Moment’ - whatever it means; left for the audience to interpret.

RIPPLES OF LIFE is a slow moving contemplative film that gives the audience much room for thought.  It is the opposite of a feel-good movie, a really sad one that reflects the disappointments in life as seen in the 3 chapters from the experiences undergone by the different characters of the story.  

  The characters are stuck in a rut of failure.   

The film contains a neat segment in which the director of the film in Yong’an talks to his writer telling him about writing screenplays.  The creative process is lost in scripts and they are to satisfy the director.

RIPPLES OF LIFE premiered at Cannes last year as part of the Director’s Fortnight section.  In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, the film opens with another one, also involving filmmaking, the Korean IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.  Both films are screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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TOP GUN: MAVERICK (USA 2022) ***
Directed by Joseph Kosinski

 

It has been around 35 years since the late director Tony Scott and Tom Cruise delivered the top hit TOP GUN in 1986.  Joseph Kosinski (ONLY THE BRAVE, TRON LEGACY and the upcoming Netflix SPIDERHEAD), best known for his computer graphics and computer-generated imagery (CGI) work, and for his work in action films takes over the director’s reins.   It is clear from the action sequences in MAVERICK that Kosinski has put his skills to good use.

The plot involves Captain Peter Mitchell (Cruise), training fighters to take out an unnamed nuclear facility before it becomes operational.  The mission involves flying low at high speeds escaping radar detection, bombing the target and then escaping before being attacked by the enemy.  The actual execution takes place two thirds into the movie.

There are credibility gaps the size of craters in the script written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, from the story conceived by Peter Craig and Justin Marks.   Mitchell’s love interest, Penny (Oscar Winner Jennifer Connelly) owns a yacht and in the end scene shows her posing next to a grand Porsche.   Do bar owners make this much money?  Or did Captain Mitchell make enough money to buy the car?  And if so, how did he get it so soon?   The tough training designed by him is nothing short of ludicrous.  The audience is led to believe that team spirit is suddenly achieved by the crew playing beach football in the sunset with all their past enmities suddenly disappearing.  The probability of Captain Mitchell finding Rooster after their planes crash (after the assault) is also hardly possible not to mention their escape in a stolen M14 from the enemy hangar and the sky dog fight escape.  Unneeded sentiment is added with the death of Mitchell’s past rival, Iceman (Val Kilmer) though Kilmer puts in a solid performance, himself suffering from throat cancer in real life.

The film is riddled with cliches from the romance, to the crew rivalry to the drama between Mitchell and Rooster to the conflict between Mitchell’s supervisor (Jon Hamm) and himself.   Mitchell’s crew is made up with the typical cliched assortment of characters -the arrogant asshole, the geek, the faithful and trustworthy and the troublemaker.

But Cruise proves his million dollar worth, that he still has the star quality and physique to match.  At almost 60, the scene of him playing beach football, shirtless with his 20-year old trainees shows him just as sexy if not sexier.  This is the film’s most erotic scene, reminiscent of Jane Campions POWER OF THE DOG scene where the cowhands wrestle nude by the river.

One must give the filmmakers and crew credit for the hurdles mounted to make such an exciting film where all they have in terms of tools are primarily computer simulation.and film editing.  The camera close ups of the pilots’ faces as they experience the 10-G force when their planes make the steep ascent (1 G is one body weight so, 10-G’s means 10 times one bodyweight forced onto oneself) heighten the excitement.

The film ends up a tad too long as the filmmakers stretch out the action set-pieces to the point of disbelief.  One must certainly throw all caution and credibility to the wind to enjoy this movie.

  TOP GUN: MAVERICK is dedicated to the late Tony Scott who passed on in 2012.  The film also opens in IMAX as well as in other formats but is best seen in IMAX as the film is shot for the IMAX technology.

Trailer: 

 

THE QUEST: NEPAL (USA 2021) ***
Directed by Alex Harz

 

THE QUEST: Nepal, the new documentary set in Nepal, with focus on Kathmandu has been described as  combining Werner Herzog with Anthony Bourdain and a bit of Bear Grylls.  The doc is a rougher version where anything interesting or different to western audiences have been included, evident at the doc’s start with host and adventurer Harz scrambling on his best while trying to please the locals to their’s and his amusement.  The scene where he meets a monk known as the monkey God, the name the monk claims is given to him by divinity is to be taken with several grains of salt.  Harz claims his quest is to deeply understand and climb the most iconic mountain in the world, Everest, while unveiling the fascinating culture, history and nature of Nepal.

It is a timely debut of the doc this week. International Everest Day is May 29th, commemorating the first time Everest was successfully summitted on May 29th, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal, which we reference in “THE QUEST: Nepal,” since Tashi  and Harz were all alone like Hillary & Norgay were back in 1953, and because of the weird striking physical similarities.

It is easy to become enthralled by one of the most surreal cities on earth, Kathmandu.  The film begins with Harz scouring the city, complete with an aerial shot showing all the compact buildings and colourful surroundings.  There is also the sacred valley of the amazing Sherpa people during a 9 day trek to the base of Mt. Everest (aka Chomolungma=«Goddess Mother of the World»).

The film provides an experience of what life is really like during an Everest expedition at 17,500 feet / 5334 meters and above for 43 more days as we continue our epic Quest upward to try to reach the 29,032 Feet / 8849 Meters summit of planet earth.  The second half of the film is divided into chapters of the days of the expedition.  The doc increases in the fascination factor during its second half as the expedition climb higher and higher in their harrowing  journey to the top, the camera capturing the magnificence of the mountain, treacherous as it may be and the glories of nature.

Besides himself - there are lots of footage of himself.  Director Harz includes words on camera with others who have their say such as the expedition operators Mike Hamill and Russell Brice, Buddhist monks Lama Nawang Paljor, Pasang Temba, fellow climbers and Mountain Guide Ang Tshering Lama.

What is also interesting and addressed is the inclusion of how the high attitude affects the body.  The climbers have to take walks above the base camp to allow breathing to adapt and they often face sleeplessness.  Despite these difficulties, the area is frequented by climbers from all over the world, especially during the 2 month climbing season.  The film demonstrates the need for humans to explore, discover and triumph over their personal goals.  As Harz says, he made a promise when young to climb Everest.  If he did not fulfill the promise, how can he be true to others?

Also fascinating are certain facts about Everst:

-   more people die on the descent than climbing up to the roof of the world

  • one can hardly breathe, move or think at the 29,000 ft altitude
  • there is only a third of the oxygen taken in when breathing at 29,000 feet

THE QUEST: Nepal opens across all TVOD/Digital platforms throughout North America – beginning on May 24th, 2022.

 Trailer: