Synopsis: An experience about the highest peaks around the world.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Jennifer Peedom
Actors: Willem Dafoe
Production: Greenwich Entertainment
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
74 min

Okay, here we go then.

Yeah. No, I will be good with this.

- Okay. I'm ready.

- Right. Thank you.

To those who are enthralled by mountains.

They're wonders beyond all disputes.

To those who are not.

They are always a kind of madness.

What is this strange force that draws us upwards?

This siren song...

Of the summit.

Only three centuries ago

Setting up to climb

a mountain would

have been considered

an act of lunacy.

The idea scarcely

existed that wild

landscapes might hold

any sort of attraction.

Mountains were places of peril, not beauty.

An upper world to be shunned, not sought out.

How then have mountains now come to hold a spellbound.

Drawing us into their dominion.

Often at the cost of our lives.

Because the mountains we climb are not made only of rock and ice

But also dreams...

And desire.

The mountains we climb

Are mountains of the mind.

To humans high

mountains were once

considered the home

of either the holy

Or the hostile.

There was nothing in between.

Around to be revered from below but never entered.

Go around mountains

if necessary,

along their flanks

but not up them.

For only gods and monsters dwelt at heights.

The upper world was

a sacred landscape

to which we directed

our devotion

And our rituals of awe.

But always from the safe distance.

Daily life brought ample hardship and danger.

There was no need to seek out more.

Gradually though the dragons and

divinities were put to flight and

our feelings toward mountains

underwent an astonishing change.

Fascination replaced trepidation.

Adventure replaced reverence.

As cities grew and we insulated ourselves away from nature

The mountains called us back.

The magic of mountains strengthened

Their fierce beauty,

Their power to enchant,

Their challenge

We went in search

of places that were

intimidating and uncontrollable.

That inspired in us the heady blend of pleasure and terror.

Which we came to call the sublime.

This search for the sublime do us outwards and upwards.

The great peeks of

the world begin to

exert a force upon

the imagination.

A siren song that was easy to hear.

Hard to resist.

And sometimes... fatal.

But legends of death

in high places spread

the spell of the

mountains wider still.

Slowly the blank spaces on the maps were filled in.

The imperial aim was to grid, girdle and name the upper world.

To bring it and

it's peoples within

the realm of the

known and the owned.

To replace mystery - with mastery.

And the greatest mystery of them all...


And so began the campaign to vanquish it.

Everest was placed under siege.

Until at last it succumbed.

This was the moment

that mountaineering as

adventure entered the

popular imagination.

Our fascination became an obsession.

Now our need for mountains runs deep and wide.

For most of us exist for

most of the time in

environments that are humanly

arranged and controlled.

But mountains are wild and ungovernable.

This is the source of their danger

And also the source of their allure.

And so a longing for the unknown that cans us onwards

Like echos cave

The unknown will answer back with whatever you call into it.

To travel to the high peaks is to cross a threshold

Into a space where time warps...

And bends.

And sensations are thrillingly amplified.

Stone and ice though

are far less gentle to

the hand's touch than

to the mind's eye.

The mountains of the

Earth have often

turned out to be more resistant,

More fatally real

Than the mountains we imagine.

These are matters of hard sharp rock and driving ice.

A bone deep cold.

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    "Mountain" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Jun 2021. <>.

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