Everest: by those who were there
For this documentary, directors Dominic Bush en John Porter followed a distant family member of Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine, who undertook the first serious Everest expedition with George Mallory, one hundred years ago.
Irvine’s distant cousin interviews well known Everest climbers and to these conversations, she adds rare historic film footage, photographs, and written documents. In this way, Everest: by those who were there shows us beautifully what challenges the British team and their sherpas faced in their time. Tibet borders were closed for foreigners then. And, once on the mountain, there was no North or South route or a Hillary-step. We learn about the choices they made in these circumstances and with the gear they had available for their poineering tour.
It’s very temping to look at the Irvine and Mallory as heroes and to romanticize them. But were they not just like the countless climbers who went after them? Fact is, they were never found – the question of whether they have ever reached the summit has never been answered definitely. This has only contributed to the mythical atmosphere around them.
A Tibetan lama had warned the Brits not to disturb the demons of the mountain, Summers explains. Also of this fact we get to see in the film.