Wednesday, March 3, 2010

North Face (Nordwand): A German "Bergfilm" Reinvented

North Face
(at the Bridge and at the Shattuck Cinemas)
Director: Philipp Stölzl with Benno Fürmann, Johanna Wokalek, Florian Lukas, Simon Schwarz, Georg Friedrich, Ulrich Tukur, Germany, Austria, 2008, DVD, color 121 min, German with English subtitles

Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s alpinists to conquer the Eiger's unclimbed north face, two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent. As they prepare at the foot of the mountain, they cross paths with Toni’s childhood love Luise, who is reporting on the first ascent for a Berlin newspaper. Tension rises as personal drama blends with the anticipation of the dangerous feat.

Few people may remember the story of Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser, but many will find their own reflection in these characters – not only alpinists and nature lovers, but anyone still searching for their path in life. With North Face, director and writer Phillipp Stölzl - known for his music videos for Ramstein and Madonna - reinvents the genre of the “Bergfilm“ (mountain film).

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