North Face

Recommended

2010 | 121 min. minutes | Rated NR

North Face describes, in frostbitten, vertiginous detail, the efforts of four men who're determined to scale the biggest, baddest mountain in the Alps. The year is 1936, and the North Face of the Eiger is the last great Alpine face to remain unscaled. A team of hot young German mountaineers takes up the challenge (supported by the Nazi party, a fact that's made as little of as possible); a pretty young newspaperwoman adds a touch of romantic intrigue. Because North Face is based on a true story, and its salient plot points are a matter of historical record, I'm going to spoil a couple of them: Everybody dies. The mountain wins. While the backstory tries to force a connection to the characters that goes beyond the elemental "Man vs. Enormous Fucking Mountain," it never really succeeds--once the snow starts blowing around, and everyone's faces get all black and frostbitey, you can't really tell them apart anyway. It's an undeniable nail-biter, though.

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Film Credits
Director
Philipp Stölzl
Cast
Benno Fürmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek, Georg Friedrich, Simon Schwarz, Ulrich Tukur, Erwin Steinhauer, Branko Samarovski, Petra Morzé, Hanspeter Müller