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The Beckoning Silence (TV)

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Original title
The Beckoning Silence (TV)
Running time
73 min.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Joe Simpson, Rupert Walters (Book: Joe Simpson)
Jack C. Arnold
Jeremy Hewson, Keith Partridge
, , , , ,
Darlow Smithson Productions
Documentary. Drama | Sport Documentaries. Mountain Climbing. Survival Film. TV Movie
Synopsis / Plot
Joe Simpson, whose battle for survival featured in "Touching the Void" (2003), travels to the Eiger to tell the story of one of mountaineering’s most epic tragedies. Toni Kurtz was a brilliant mountaineer who in 1936 tried to be the first to conquer the Eiger. The climb started well, but disaster struck and Kurtz’s climbing colleagues were killed, leaving him alone and fighting for his life. The Beckoning Silence recounts Kurtz’s heroic battle for survival but it also forces Simpson to confront some fundamental questions of his own. Why continue climbing when you have come so close to oblivion? As a child, it was this story and that of one of the climbers in particular, that first captured Simpson’s imagination and inspired him to take up mountaineering.

Toni Kurz, was a brilliant young mountaineer, who along with three other climbers tried to climb the mountain in 1936, which was then the last great unconquered peak in the Alps. Their assault on the mountain started well, but then disaster struck and one by one Kurz’s colleagues were killed leaving him alone, hanging on the end of a rope fighting for his life in the most horrific of circumstances.

Over 50 years later in Peru, Kurz’s story haunted Simpson as he battled for his own survival while hanging in midair. His plight uncannily mirrored that of Kurz - except against all the odds, Simpson lived whilst his hero had perished.

The Beckoning Silence tells the story of Kurz heroic battle for survival, but in telling it, it also forces Simpson to confront some fundamental questions -Why continue climbing when you have come so close to oblivion? . In this film Simpson finally confronts his demons on the Eiger’s North Face and rediscovers the thrill of the climb that once made him feel so alive.

Extras on the DVD disc include the making-of featurette Behind the Silence: The Making of The Beckoning Silence, plus an exclusive interview with prolific climber Chris Bonnington on climbing the North Face of the Eiger.
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