Mountain is a tribute to the power and fascination mountains have had over us mere mortals since the beginning of time. It is a Screen Australia production, produced and directed by Jennifer Peedom.  The film provides gorgeous visuals of mountains in twenty-two countries throughout the world.  The music which accompanies the film is provided by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.  The music is both beautiful and at times other worldly.

Narrator Willem Dafoe explains that three hundred years ago no one climbed mountains.  It would have been considered an act of lunacy.  Mountains were considered holy or hostile.  Slowly, but surely, fascination replaced trepidation.  There are photos and films of old expeditions and people taking trolleys up to the top of mountains.  We see fast action films showing modification made to mountains, so ski resorts could be created.

In present day the film shows us just how crazy and insanely dangerous mountain climbing can be.  We see a dark speck in the distance against a craggy, white expanse.  As we get closer we realize it is a human being clinging to the side of a very dangerous looking mountain.  We see a crazy person skiing down a ribbon of snow between jagged cliffs, and people para-glide off cliffs riding motorcycles and bikes.  Humans engage in all sorts of outrageous, insanely dangerous behavior while on mountains, and this movie captures it all.

This movie also captures the amazing volcanic forces that create mountains and the snowy beauty of mountain terrain.  Both the music and photography are exceptional.  I am an urban creature who prefers to admire nature from a safe indoor perspective.  I think this movie will satisfy people like me and also inspire the adventurous.

Opens  Friday,  June 1st  at  Landmark Ken Cinema.

Pollack-Fremd, a retired ESL instructor, is a freelance writer specializing in cinema.

Reprinted with permission of San Diego Jewish World