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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmackingly good!
I reluctantly went to see this with a friend of mine,expecting to be bored out of my mind. After all a documentary about climbing isn't exactly my usual idea of fun. However, I was absolutely blown away. I remember coming out of the cinema and actually being speechless. This was a true story which is absolutely unbelievable. The beauty of this is that the real people are...
Published on 13 April 2008 by Jasmine Grant

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Touching the void
Amazing story but more of a documentary. I met Joe and he was truly inspirational but the film didn't do his story justice. Going to try the book!
Published 9 months ago by Ellen


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmackingly good!, 13 April 2008
By 
Jasmine Grant (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Touching The Void [DVD] (DVD)
I reluctantly went to see this with a friend of mine,expecting to be bored out of my mind. After all a documentary about climbing isn't exactly my usual idea of fun. However, I was absolutely blown away. I remember coming out of the cinema and actually being speechless. This was a true story which is absolutely unbelievable. The beauty of this is that the real people are narrating the story, not actors. This is a really inspirational film for anyone, not just climbers. It really expresses the human instinct to stay alive and to not be alone. It makes you realise how through sheer willpower and determination human beings are capable of very extraordinary things. an awesome film!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the Seat Stuff!!, 12 Jan 2005
This is an amazing piece of film work. Its not fiction - but a reconstruction of an actual event that occured in the Andes. I was gripped from beginning to end. The story is interspersed with interviews with the two climbers and a colleague who stayed at the base camp. The re-telling of the sequence of events is so real that you almost feel that you are there with them ....... all I can say is that I'm really glad I wasn't.
What really struck me was the emotive aspect of the story - without giving too much away, how both climbers responded to the situations they found themselves in - in realtion to each other also.
Fantastic stuff, a triumph of human spirit and strength. Watch and be amazed!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars watch...and think, 9 Dec 2004
about the human capacity to withstand what will seem to you like some of the most unbelievable conditions, to make the hardest decision you can ever imagine, and to keep going despite everything. I watched this film without knowing anything about it's background. It is the only film I have ever watched again, and again, and I will watch and think about these two guys - Joe and Simon, whenever I doubt whether what I'm doing is worth the candle or not. Watch this film. It is beautiful and awesome.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching the Void, 26 Feb 2004
By 
J. Miller "Giraffoto" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In an age when the term "extreme" is applied to pastimes that carry negligible risks, it is worth being reminded occasionally what extremes really are: Touching the Void is an effective reminder.
The two climbers between them face everything that it takes to break the human spirit: the choice of abandoning a friend to certain death or facing one's own; crawling in agony for miles over rocks and ice; realizing that, whatever happens, help won't come; and, driven by determination not to go down without a fight, they survive to bring us the story of how they did it.
The story alone would make anything worth sitting through, but is complemented here by a gripping narrative, superb reconstructions, and the stunning cinematography. Buy it and get yourself a screen big enough to do it justice.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant and harrowing, 31 Mar 2008
By 
D. I. Shipley "David Shipley" (KENT United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
In 1985 two young mountaineers - Joe Simpson and Simon Yates decided to climb the so far unclimbed West Face of Siula Grande, a remote peak of 21,000 ft. in the Peruvian Andes. So remote is this mountain that it could only be approached on horseback and then by walking the rest of the way that is unpassable to horses or donkeys...
Using "the Alpine technique" of literally just packing everything into a rucksack and doing the climb in one hit, instead, of the more conventional method of doing the climb in stages and using various camps along the way, they make it to the top of the previously unclimbed Siula Grande.
On the way down, tragedy strikes when Joe falls and horribly smashes his lower leg through his knee cap. Simon then tries to lower the injured Joe down from the mountain. However, when Joe is left hanging over a ravine and dragging Simon inexorably towards a 300ft drop, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope and Joe falls 150ft into a ravine. Simon believing Joe to be dead then makes his way back down the mountain.

Miraculously, Joe survived the fall and despite his shattered leg, slowly and painfully crawled back down the mountain becoming ever weaker and going into delirium. Against all the odds he made it down to be found by Joe at the bottom and rescued.
Both returned to the UK and Simon faced considerable hostility from many within the UK climbing community including leading climbers for cutting the rope on his climbing partner.
Joe however backed Simon's decision and both climbers maintain to this day that they would have both died, if that rope had not been cut....

This is a superb reconstruction of that fateful climb and is shot on location at Siula Grande which is one of the most beautiful, desolate, and terrifying places on Earth.
The climb is incredible in its reconstruction and the Andean scenery is simply stunning. Throughout the re-enactment, the real Joe and Simon tell their stories via interviews.
Watching this film is excruciating at times because of its harrowing subject. Joe's descent into delirium is underlined by the sound in his head of the Boney M song "Brown Girl In The Ring" which replays over and over for hours, all the time making him more determined not to die to the music of Boney M!

This is an HD DVD film but because much of the mountain footage was presumably shot on small climbing helmet mounted cameras, the resolution on these scenes is very grainy and in sharp contrast to the pristine real time interviews with Joe and Simon. To overcome this, I lowered the resolution on my HD DVD player to 720p and this worked very well, almost completely obliterating the graininess from the mountain shots that was too prominent in both 1080p and 1080i.
Sound is DTS-HD and is absolutely superb. All channels are beautifully balanced and clear on a home cinema set up, particularly if your receiver can decode DTS-HD.
Extras include:
- Return to Siula Grande
- What happened next
- Trailer
There is also an HDi trailer at the start of the disc that gives the old speakers a pretty robust workout.

Summing up, this film is a must have and I recommend it unreservedly.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Nov 2005
By 
I'm not a climber, but I was thoroughly gripped by this film from beginning to end. I found it very weird that Joe Simpson was narrating, and yet at each stage of the film I kept thinking he couldn't possibly have survived.
Not only uplifting and inspiring, but also a refreshingly long, long way from Hollywood.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film at its best, 5 Mar 2004
Like many armchair mountaineers I couldn't wait to watch this film.
I had read Touching the Void some years ago and was inspired by the courage of the protagonists and impressed with the quality of the writing.
Would the film be worthy of the book?
Yes definitely.
The involvement of Simpson et al ensures that the story is truthfully and grippingly told. The film realistically conveys the desperation and courage of the mountaineers. And the camera work is superb - the panning shots of the mountains are beautiful, and for me, allow a glimpse into the appeal of undertaking life risking adventure at altitude.
Touching the Void really does transport the viewer to a place and situation they previously could only imagine.
This is a wonderful piece of film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simple, yet says so much, 16 Oct 2009
This review is from: Touching The Void [DVD] (DVD)
The description of this film might make it sound like a nicely shot adventure documentary, but it is much more than that. It's about suffering, companionship (and its limits), and the loneliness of the human condition. If that sounds too grand a claim, check out the look on Joe Simpson's face as he says, "I lost something".

The cinematography is magnificent, the ingenious camerawork used to convey Simpson's increasingly tenuous grip on reality being particularly effective. The pacing of the story is superb, the climbers shown sliding slowly into disaster, and Simpson experiencing his dark night of the soul before, little by little, flashes of hope start to appear, though punctuated until the last moment by the resurgence of despair.

The narration by the three participants is particularly moving for being so honest and understated. Joe Simpson's haunted look throughout, and the gaping pauses in his sentences as he recalls his worst moments, are deeply affecting. Unless he is an incredibly good actor, one can truly believe that his awful experience marked his transition from hard-nosed, arrogant youth to suffering member of the human race.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing testimony to man's endurance., 6 Aug 2006
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This unique docu-drama recreates an ill-fated expedition to scale the treacherous unclimbed West face of Silua Grande in the Andes.

The achingly beautiful landscapes and the 5.1 surround sound combine effectively to draw the viewer in and, I swear, you will feel that wind-chill!

Impeccably acted and spliced with frequent interviews with the real climbers, it weaves quite a surreal spell on the viewer, especially when one climber, having suffered a serious injury, undergoes exhaustion-induced hallucinations. I've got that damn Boney M song stuck in MY head now!

Interesting extras - the making of and what happened next, complement this astonishing DVD, that will surely appeal to devotees of many different genres.

An essential purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superbly gripping, 2 Jan 2007
By 
E. L. Shiel (brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The story is gripping, but it is also extremely well directed and shot with 'trainspotting' type camera work. Also interesting on the DVD are interviews with the climbers concerning how they made the film to clear the one guys name in the climbing world, but also how they felt about the film makers who demanded they went back to the mountain that so very nearly took their lives. An awe inspiring film for all.
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Touching The Void [DVD]
Touching The Void [DVD] by Nicholas Aaron (DVD - 2007)
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