KajoPicks: 8 films about Mount Everest you must watch
Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, standing at its official height of 8,848m.
While the rest of the world calls it Everest, the mountain is called Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet.
The name Everest was actually given by the Royal Geographical Society as suggested by the British Surveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh in 1865.
Waugh named it after his predecessor, Sir George Everest.
Even though more than 4,000 people have reached its peak since Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, hundreds have died doing it, which is why its no surprise that Everest always make it into popular culture.
There are plenty of books, movies and documentaries out there telling tales of courageous humans pushing their limits to conquer Everest.
Here, we narrowed down eight films from all over the world on Mount Everest to watch:
On May 10 to 11, 1996, eight people died while caught in a blizzard on Mount Everest.
This movie starring Jason Clarke and Jake Gyllenhaal, is based on that 1996 disaster.
A real tearjerker, the film focuses on the two expedition groups led by Rob Hall (Clarke) and Scot Fischer (Gyllenhall).
Overall, the film was a commercial blockbuster and received positive reviews from critics.
However, journalist Jon Krakauer who was on assignment from Outside magazine and part of Hall’s expedition team was not happy with the movie.
Krakauer thinks that some of its details were fabricated and defamatory.
The storyline for Everest (2015) is mostly adapted from Beck Weathers’ book Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest.
2. Into Thin Air: Death on Everest (1997)
This TV movie is according to Krakauer’s account of what happened during the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy.
It is based on Krakauer’s memoir Into Thin Air which received considerable amount of criticism.
For those with curious minds, they could watch both Everest (2015) and Into Thin Air: Death on Everest (1997) and compare the storylines.
3.The Himalayas (2015)
The Himalayas (2015) is based on South Korean climber Um Hong Gil’s life.
It focuses on his mentorship of two other climbers Park Moo Taek and Park Jeong Bok.
Sadly, Moo Taek died during an expedition on Mount Everest and his body was left in the Himalayas.
The movie is based on real-life event of Um, set aside concerns over his leg injury to lead a team to find Moo Taek’s body.
4. Poorna: Courage Has No Limit (2017)
Malavath Poorna conquered the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 13 years and 11 months earning the title as the youngest girl in the world to do so.
The movie follows her journey in preparation for her climb.
Keeping true to Poorna’s tribe, they speak in the native Telugu language.
Poorna: Courage Has No Limit (2017) was shot in Poorna’s home village in Pakala over a period of 11 days.
It was highly praised in the media including The Hindustan Times which stated “Poorna shows you that incredible stories can be told simply. Bollywood can learn from that.”
5. Beyond the Edge (2013)
This New Zealand docudrama is about Norgay and Hillary’s historical ascent of Everest in 1953.
The film features original footage and photographs from the expedition, lending the movie some authenticity.
There is also an audio interview with Hillary and narration by the expedition leader John Hunt.
6. Blindsight (2006)
The climbers in this documentary do not climb Mount Everest but the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri mountain in the shadow of the Himalaya.
Blindsight follows the story of six blind Tibetan teenagers on their journey to climb Lhakpa Ri mountain.
The group had some help for their challenge, a blind German social worker Sabriye Tenberkan and famous blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer.
7. Everest (1998)
This 45-minute documentary focus on a team led by mountaineer Ed Viesturs.
He is the only American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s mountain peaks.
Some of his team members are Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay and Spanish climber Araceli Segarra, the first Spanish woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.
It also features a description of the training required in order to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.
And the plus point for this documentary? Liam Neeson narrated this film.
8. Beyond the Heights (2015)
Award-winning Pakistani cinematographer Jawad Sharif directed this inspiring 2015 documentary.
It follows the then 21-year old Samina Baig who became first Pakistani woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2013.
Samina was accompanied by her brother Miza Ali Baig. Miza was the youngest Pakistani man to conquer Everest at the age of 29.
Apart from Everest, Samina also the first and only Pakistani woman to climb all seven summits on seven continents.