In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain’s perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers. In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle Meru. Their planned seven-day trip quickly declined into a 20-day odyssey in sub-zero temperatures with quickly depleting food rations. Despite making it to within 100 meters of the elusive summit, their journey, like everyone before them, was not a successful one. Heartbroken and defeated, the trio returned to their everyday lives, where the siren song of Meru continued to beckon. By September 2011, Anker had convinced his two lifelong friends to undertake the Shark’s Fin once more, under even more extraordinary circumstances than their first attempt. Meru is the story of that journey, an expedition through nature’s harshest elements and one’s complicated inner demons, and ultimately on to impossible new heights. Co-directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi join us to talk about how they were able to assemble this amazing, unbelievable story of determination, skill and willful insanity.
MERU, opening Friday, August 14 at the Nuart Theatre for an exclusive one week engagement. Co-directors Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi will appear in person on Saturday, August 15 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and introduction to the 9:45pm show; and Sunday, August 16 for Q&As after the 2:50pm and 5:10pm shows.
Winner, Sundance Audience Award – US Documentary – Winner, Telluride Mountainfilm 2015 – Charlie Fowler Award
“The best climbing movie of the year.” – Outside Magazine
“Harrowing and ultimately moving! One of the best sports documentaries of its type in recent years. Engrossing..hair-raising…a nail-biter.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety
“High-tech, high-octane, high-fiving…a winning combination of the gruelingly practical and the luminously cosmic. Transport[s] viewers to the roof of the world.” – Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“A moving tale of super human perserverance.” – The Playlist
“An irresistible white-knuckler that digs into the unique pathology of death-defying adventurers and the intense bonds that develop when they’re in peril..” – Scott Tobias, The Dissolve