Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Meru documents not one but two attempts by experienced climbers (Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk) to scale the "anti-Everest" of Meru Peak in the Himalayan Mountains using the never-before completed "Shark's Fin" route known by climbers as one of the hardest routes in the world given the complexities and challenges of the mountain.

With a mix of footage from both the failed 2008 attempt and the successful 2011 climb, the movie also documents the period in-between concerning Ozturk's near-fatal accident and Chin being caught in an avalanche, neither of which deter either the men's resolve to return to the mountain. The film also documents Anker's loss of an earlier climbing partner and his struggle to return to his passion afterwards. Filled with breathtaking photography and first-account interviews taken before, during, and after the climbs, Meru captures the beauty and danger of mountain climbing while allowing the climbers themselves to explain their drive to do what they do.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, the film includes a group of featurettes on different aspects of the climb, the trailer, featurettes on the film's premiere at Sundance and in Chicago, Q&A with the filmmakers, and a pair of commentary tracks with Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and with Anker.

[Music Box Films, Blu-ray $34.95 / DVD $29.95]

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