This documentary follows the 2008 expedition to Mount Meru by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to attempt to climb the Shark Fin, a 4000-foot (1219 meter) big wall in the Indian Himalaya. The trio of climbers faced difficult conditions, avalanches, harsh weather, and some of the most challenging pitches found anywhere on the planet on their way up the 21,000-foot (6400 meter) peak. Along the way they were pushed to their absolute limits as they gave into their obsession for reaching the summit.
For my money, Meru is the most important mountaineering film we'll see of the two new releases. It is raw and real, with the actual climbers telling the story. Everest on the other hand is a big Hollywood production that – judging from the trailer – is filled with melodramatic dialog. Don't get me wrong, the climbing scenes look well done for this type of movie, but Meru is using actual footage from the real expedition, and the scenes haven't been recreated for the purpose of telling the story.
The documentary will go into limited release starting this Friday, and will slowly make its way into other theaters in the weeks ahead. You can check to see where it will be playing in your area by clicking here. In my case, it arrives in my town on Sept. 4, two days after a depart for the South Pacific for my honeymoon. That means it may not be still playing here when I get back home, but I am eager to see it none the less.
For an idea of what Meru is all about, check out the trailer below. It does a fine job of showing us what to expect. Can't wait to see it at some point.