There is only one thing on the mind of many mountain climbers in 1936; who will be the first to climb the notorious Eiger North Face. Many climbers have attempted to scale the “Murder Wall” in previous years, but the North Face has claimed them all.
That year however there is a buzz in the air, an expectation that some one will achieve the impossible. For German climbers Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser it will be their chance at fame and fortune, and for Germany it will prove the worthiness of the Aryan race.
Beautifully filmed, North Face is a gripping tale of heroism and determination. It’s also a parable about pride and listening to your inner voice of reason. Unfortunately for me, it was also frustratingly slow. It crawled along at a pace slow enough to put an insomniac into deep sleep. It wasn’t the directors fault though, nor the actors or the scriptwriters. In fact North Face is possibly one of the best dramas you’ll see on DVD this year. No, the problem for me was that I have seen the documentary The Beckoning Silence which in part chronicles Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser’s story, through re-acting every details of their climb.
As such, knowing exactly what happens through out the film, threw the pacing off for me. All I wanted to do was to get to the climax and see how they handle it.
However, if you haven’t seen The Beckoning Silence the I highly recommend North Face as a fascinating true story of human courage.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: January 14th, 2010
Director: Stölzl, Philipp
Length (Minutes); 126
Stars: Benno Fürmann, Branko Samarovski, Erwin Steinhauer, Florian Lukas, Georg Friedrich