K2 – Touching the Sky

Year: 2015

Director: Eliza Kubarska

Playing time: 72 minutes

Do you understand the call of the mountains? What will you give for an ascent? Interspersed with archive images and interviews with survivors, a group of travellers make their way to K2 base camp. The place where their father or mother once set off from, never to return. Could you do that?

Hanna only knows her father from photos and books. He went on an expedition to K2 before she was born, and never came back. Lukasz was four when his mother died on the notorious mountain. The mother of Chris and Lindsay, the first British woman climber to reach the summit of K2, never returned either. The Polish alpinist and film-maker Eliza Kubarska wants to become a mother herself and wonders how this can be combined with mountaineering. To investigate this question, she visits the base camp of the K2 expeditions 30 years after the ‘black summer’ of 1986 in the company of four children of mountaineers who died on the mountain. This film is an intimate account of conflicting emotions, framed with archive material from the 1980s, interviews with survivors and breathtaking shots of the Karakorum mountains.

Eliza graduated from the academy of arts in Warsaw, Poland, and is an experienced mountaineer. She combines her love of film and outdoor sport by making award-winning documentaries in remote locations such as Greenland and Borneo. Her documentary about K2 has won various prizes in Torello, Graz and Banff, as well as the Grand Prix of the Kendal Mountain Festival. The film compels you to keep seeking answers to impossible questions.