on March 06, 1998 by Pat Kramer
Intrigued by the challenge of filming in large-scale IMAX format a team of climbers' ascent up the tallest peak in the world, Emmy award-winning filmmaker David Breashears ("Red Flag Over Tibet") got more than he bargained for. In the process of filming this historic event in May 1996, his crew unexpectedly witnessed the worst tragedy ever to take place on Mt. Everest: On May 10, 1996, while the climbers and crew patiently waited at Camp II for storm conditions to clear, 23 other climbers were caught in a terrifying white-out that took eight lives, including those of two experienced leaders, Scott Fischer and Rob Hall. In its exclusive footage, "Everest" depicts the events that followed, including their own dramatic rescue of survivor Beck Weathers, who stumbled into their camp suffering from severe frostbite on his hands and face.
   "Everest" shows in its dramatically-scored, beautifully-filmed footage the extreme conditions that prevail on the peak known as the highest point in the world. Likewise, it shows just how strong the human spirit can be in the face of adversity. Its stars are expedition members Ed and Paula Viesturs, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, Sumiyo Tsuzuki, and Araceli Segarra, who wagered their lives to make this film. Shown struggling up icy precipices and above yawning chasms hundreds of feet deep, they reveal their thoughts and feelings about life, death and the task they have before them.
   In the end, three of the climbers made it to the 29,028' summit (as well as director Breashears, who previously set a world record as the first American to scale the peak twice). As each climber is shown standing on the very top of the mountain, gazing out over the horizon above the clouds, we, the spectators, are also privileged to share the victory and exhilaration of their climb. Produced and directed by Greg MacGillivray, David Breashears and Stephen Judson. Written by Stephen Judson. A MacGillivray Freeman production in association with Arcturus Motion Pictures. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 40 minutes.
Tags: Greg MacGillivray, David Breashears, Stephen Judson, MacGillivray Freeman, Arcturus Motion Pictures, Documentary, chasms, revealing thoughts, prevail, survivors, suffering, human spirit

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