Wednesday, 29 July 2015


This is a documentary that didn't intend to be the one it ended up being, but happened to be in the place when bad things happened. Sherpa is a look at the unsung heroes of mountain climing.

In 2014 there was an unfortunate accident that happened. Before that day, this group of film makers were focusing on following what the Sherpa people (they are a people, not a job) do during Everest mountain expeditions. While corporate companies organise mountain expeditions, the Sherpas are the ones who do all the heavy lifting, and take all the equipment up to the various camping points for the others can have an easier time of it.

And then, while crossing a dangerous ice flow (which they need to do around 30 times a year to get all the gear up, the rest of the expeditions only cross once or twice), there's an accident killing 16 of them. The documentary crew happen to capture that as well, and the aftermath is not pretty. The previous year, fighting had broken out as the Sherpas didn't feel like they were respected, and now this, with their own government giving only a token gesture (when the government officials turn up to speak to the restless crowd, you can already predict how badly that's going to happen). This year is cancelled (with expedition owners throwing blame around to they don't have to take any), and eventually for 2015 (we find out) the government gave into their demands.

This isn't a pretty movie, in that it shows the underbelly of what's going on. Just makes me want to scream "it's just a mountain!". It's a good look at the group that don't get the credit they deserve... and it is a pretty movie in that there are some lovely shots of the mountain.


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