Documentary Film Review “Mountain”

In times of pain or sorrow, human beings find refuge in different things.  I have a friend, who used to own a book store, whose refuge is in the pages of a book.  Another friend, in walking or swimming in the ocean.  For me, when not creating artwork, it is hiking in the mountains.

Of course, I enjoy getting out on the trail no matter what I am feeling.  The physical act of hiking and being surrounded by nature has an ability to help me see things clearer and feel invigorated.  I have been quoted saying that the worst day on the trail is better than the best day in the office.

John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”  I couldn’t agree with him more.  Right now with the state of the world what it is…. it is a little more challenging getting out to the mountains.  So I did what anyone who dreams of mountains would do…. I watched a documentary about them.

Mountain still from film

Film Still from the documentary “Mountain”

Released in 2017 “Mountain” is an Australian documentary film directed by Jennifer Peedom.  The only word to truly describe the cinematography is spectacular.  While exploring high peaks from around the world, this film tells about the relationship between humans and mountains across time.  Parts of the film take one through the dizzying rush of ascending and descending the peaks.  Other parts of the film are soft and elegant.  For example, in one scene, the way the camera follows gently falling snow.

Besides the beautiful images, the film is Narrated by Willem Dafoe.  In my opinion, you couldn’t have a better narrator.  As part of his narration, Willem Dafoe reads passages from Robert Macfarlaine’s book Mountains of the Mind.

The musical score is performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.  The combination of the visual and musical of this documentary is exquisitely done.

Mountain documentary film

If given an opportunity to watch this documentary, do not pass it up.  I highly recommend this film.  A sensory feast for the eyes and ears, it is perfect during this time of social distancing.