I love watching films of people pushing their limits, not just as individuals, but as a human race - something that is expected as beyond our capabilities.
Climbing a mountain that is several thousand feet, hanging off a building and holding yourself up with one arm - those are the things that I love to watch, even if it makes me anxious beyond belief.
These are things that I would NEVER do. I'm terrified of heights, for one. Second, risking my life like that is just not something that appeals to me. However, I love to watch others do it. I love to watch it from the comforts of my home.
I am discussing two films this week, because they are centered around the same idea - climbing a ridiculously tall mountain and going through a personal journey to get there. Everest is a theatrical film based on the book, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which is a true story. Meru is a documentary, shot by Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk.
Everest displays a group of climbers attempting to summit Everest, when hit with a violent storm that features one of the fiercest ever blizzard. The team must try to fight the freezing winds and survive.
(Note: Even though I read the book and knew everything that was going to happen, I still balled my eyes out at the end. Never-ending tears, to be exact.)
Meru is centered on three climbers who attempt (twice) the impossible climb of the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru, a 21,000 foot peak above the Ganges River in Northern India. The movie deals with obsession, sacrifice, hope and friendship. Mount Meru has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other mountain in the Himalayas.
Not only are the stories incredibly riveting, but the shots are breath-taking as well.
When watching a film about climbing mountains - you're bound to get good shots. You're also bound to feel anxious and like your breath is being taken away.
(Note: Obviously one is theatrical, but it's interesting to compare and contrast the two.)
You can find both movies on Amazon. For Everest, you have to pay. For Meru, it's free on Amazon Prime. As far as I'm aware, Meru and Everest are available on Netflix (but don't hold me to that).
I would also highly request reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, if you want more of the whole story.
Watch and enjoy!