Outdoor Enthusiasts Should Venture Out to Climb Meru!
Audiences, especially outdoors enthusiasts, should venture out to theaters this weekend to watch the award-winning documentary “Meru.” It showcases an in-depth and poignant snapshot about climbers who reflect on the hardship and inspiration of hiking Meru which is above the Ganges River in Northern India a few years ago.
“Meru” does an exceptional job tracking the trials and perseverance of experiencing one of the most challenging descents in a rather captivating manner. “Meru” jumps right in as it opens with footage of climbing team members looking exhausted and annoyed. The imagery is astonishing and looks almost too stark. This is quite an impressive directorial debut from the husband – wife duo of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.
A documentary like “Meru” is relentless with editing a variety of footage with candid and sometimes emotionally vulnerable interviews. We learn much more about the people who are climbing as it rewinds three years prior of the crew. This enhances the intensity of what was truly at stake for these climbers. The most interesting and heartfelt moment was a small portion of the story involving Jimmy Chin whose Chinese family immigrated to America to escape communist regime.
These climbers attempt more descents and setbacks while scaling the Himalaya’s (Shark’s Fin) peak. Their base camp is at 14k feet (which is mind blowing for people like this Colorado resident who scales 14’ers). It only gets more intense from their strength waning and food running desperately low. Recalling other harrowing moments is still harrowing to take in. The moment one of the hikers drops his pack was emotionally taxing. There are other gripping scenes that spring up within the third act that I wish not to reveal.
“Meru” was very worthy of winning the audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for U.S. Documentary. It is as gripping as the best of fictional narratives told in the non-fiction documentary format. Though it is tempting to wait to watch a documentary at home on Netflix, take the great opportunity to see something as grand as “Meru” on the big screen if you can.
- Documentary Score
Outdoor fanatics and fans of engaging storytelling will be riveted with “Meru.” It opens in limited release this weekend (NY, LA, Denver), it expands in the coming weeks. More information can be found here: http://www.merufilm.com/theaters/