A movie worth watching

Joe Simpson is a magnificent storyteller. Truly, truly magnificent storyteller!

It is a rare gift among mountaineers - to be drawn to and passionate about mountains, but also to able to put it into words so eloquently, why.

He has, in addition to writing "Touching the Void" and "The Beckoning Silence" (and several more books), narrated much of the two movies that have been based on these books.

His "Touching the Void" is a great story - in fact, it is an amazing story! I don't know if you've seen the movie, but I recommend it wholeheartedly; even people that have never had anything to do with mountains have said that it makes for absolutely gripping 2 hours (okay, little less than 2 hours - an hour and 40 minutes...) and afterwards I have seen people sit around a table with drinks in hand, saying, "This guy is incredible..." and discussing what are the chances of anyone ever being able to pull this off.

Really, his "Touching the Void" story borders unbelievable.

But now yesterday I discovered that another movie, "The Beckoning Silence" is available - full length! - on Youtube.

And I didn't even know the movie existed!

In short, it is a movie about a 1936 expedition up Eiger's north face, and the soul-ripping story of four young men attempting it.

But it's more than that. It's also a story of Joe Simpson and why he doesn't climb like that any longer; a story of a man that is now in his 50's, inward-looking and contemplating.

Yesterday, me and The Man watched the movie together, gripped by the story, and I was borderline teary not only at the end where Toni Kurz is so unbelievably set on living and surviving that he keeps defying the odds, one after another - but also where Joe Simpson talks about his climbing and why he doesn't have that passion any more.

It is a rare gift, to be - or to have been - so passionate about something, almost to the exclusion of everything else, but to also be able to put it into words like Joe does...

I'm really glad this guy has lived to tell these tales.

I'm really glad for all the storytellers of the world, actually.

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