The Wall of Shadows (2020)
A film by Eliza Kubarska, 94' (52') / Dok
Hot Docs Film Festival 2020 - International Spectrum
Docs Against Gravity 2020 - Competition
When a Sherpa family is asked by a group of westerners to lead a trek up the never-conquered east wall of the imposing Kumbhakarna Mountain in Nepal, they’re confronted with a dilemma. Not only is the summit reputed to be more challenging than Mount Everest, but according to the local Kirant religion, it’s a sacred mountain that is not supposed to be ascended. While the father would like to earn the money necessary for his son’s education, the mother, a fierce woman who supports her boy’s dream of becoming a doctor, is adamant that they shouldn’t hike God’s body. Director Eliza Kubarska follows the expedition after the family agrees to guide the three foreigners, negotiating as best they can the pressure to finish the climb, the dangerous conditions and their own religious beliefs. Herself an experienced alpinist, Kubarska captures breathtaking images of the majestic landscape, honouring the spiritual dimension of the environment.
"Kubarska knows that the grandeur of the mountain is but a hill of beans compared to the human drama in the camp. The film is all the better for it."
Pat Mullen, Point Of View Magazine
Polish Film Institute, TVP, ZDF/ARTE, MFG Stuttgart, Bundesamt für Kultur, Zürcher Filmstiftung