Nordwand (North Face)
I cannot recommend this movie enough, but let me at least try to do it some justice. Nordwand (North Face) is a German film directed by Philipp Stölzl. If you watch it, you will be blessed by its enchanting glow and tragic story for 121 minutes.
It is a film about bravery, love, conquest, patriotism, friendship, home, family, death, and much, much more. The movie is based on a true story about two climbers, Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser, and their childhood friend. It starts in pre-WWII Germany with a woman who works at a German newspaper and who loves to take photographs. She is a secretary to the newspaper’s executives and overhears them discuss the death of a famous mountain climbing pair who perished on the last unconquered face of the Swiss Alps: the perilous North Face of Eiger Mountain. She then remembers that she has two friends at home who love to climb and returns home to try and convince them to climb the North Face so that she can document their ascension.
Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser work for the army, but they climb as often as possible. In an early scene you see them climbing the face of a mountain while cameras are panning all around them, showing you splendid skies and awe-inspiring mountains in the background. In the foreground you see the two climbs struggle to conquer nature as they pave their way up one of Earth’s many sleeping giants. They sweat and toil to survive on an incredibly steep, crumbly, and rocky slope, sometimes falling and being caught by a rope and at times running across the surface of vertical surfaces. At the top of the mountain, like at the top of every other mountain he has climbed, Toni Kurtz takes out his journal and writes of their ascension as cameras circle the pair and once again show you breathtaking surrounding mountainous region.
Since the climb takes place pre-WWII Europe, patriotism and fame are hot topics. The German’s wanted to be the first to conquer the mountain for the greatness of Germany and her people. However, other nations have their eyes set on such a goal as well: glory for their nation. Thus, the climb turns into a race whose reward is far greater than that of self satisfaction, money, and fame.
Through the climb and everyone assembled to watch the ascent the film tragically portrays the extent of people’s patriotism and what they will do for love and companionship. It explores peoples’ ambitions for themselves and others. It looks at love and jealousy. It searches for meaning in a home, in a country, in a quest. It shows people in their most vulnerable moments and the tough decisions that they must face.
As stated at the beginning: I cannot recommend this movie enough or it enough praise. But now that this article is over, go out and rent Nordwand (North Face) with a loved one or a dear friend and don’t forget to bring at least one box of tissues.
Here is a link Nordwand (North Face) on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0844457/
And here is a link to Nordwand (North Face) on Rotten Tomatoes (it got 100%): http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10010612/Posted in entertain, movies