review – The Beckoning Silence – Joe Simpson

The last movie I watched at the Banff Mountain Film Festival was a fitting finale: The Beckoning Silence.

Joe Simpson gives his perspective on the 1936 disaster on the North Face of the Eiger when four young climbers died in public view of Eiger Bird tourists below.

The last, Kurz, perished after hanging on the end of a rope all night with 2 dead partners. Died within metres of the rescue party next morning. A tragedy in every respect.

Simpson’s Touching the Void is my favourite documentary of all time — so I kept my expectations as … realistic as possible.

But The Beckoning Silence is no sequel to Touching the Void. Though it explores similar themes, and is a remarkably parallel story, this is a made-for-TV presentation, not a feature film release.

My review …

The Beckoning Silence is excellent. It’s a must see for anyone interested in the history of mountaineering.

Joe Simpson is the best possible narrator. Articulate, compelling, flawed. He is the highlight.

Joe cannot understand why he lived, and these young men died.

photo – Film and Mountain

I cannot find a trailer for the movie on-line. Leave a comment below with a link if you’ve seen one.

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