Touching the Void

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Kevin Macdonald
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
One of the greatest adventure stories of all-time, Touching the Void recounts the thrilling, disastrous climb Joe Simpson and his mountaineering partner Simon Yates undertook as they set out to scale the previously insurmountable west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Winner of numerous awards including a BAFTA for Best British Film, this critically-lauded documentary from IFC Films combines dramatic reconstruction of the climb and interviews with the two climbers it nearly killed. It was 1985 and Joe Simpson and Simon Yates were young, fit, skilled climbers. The west face of Siula Grande, remote and treacherous, had not been climbed before. Following a successful 3 1/2 day ascent, disaster struck. Simpson fell a short distance and broke several bones in his leg. With no hope of rescue, the men decided to attempt descent together. What followed is one of the most incredible accounts of tragedy, friendship and human endurance.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Uses first-person on-camera accounts of the adventure by Simpson and fellow climber Simon Yates to backdrop newly shot you-are-there footage that brings home the awesome and harrow...

  • 60

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    This is compelling stuff, but there is something deeply distracting in the use of recreated material.

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It's a nervy, quasi-documentary scheme that's often successful, perhaps more so than you'd expect for this kind of a hybrid endeavor. But Macdonald's technique eventually turns out...

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    Categories

    Documentary, Sports

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    Independent