Mount Everest! It is probably the most searched word about Nepal on the internet. Known as the holy grail in mountaineering, the mountain attracts people from all over the world. Numerous books have been written about it, and every year, hundreds of articles are produced on the mountain and the people who have scaled it. But, movies about Everest are no less searched about.
Over the course of history, there have been some great movies about Everest too. These films show how people climb, what it takes for them to climb, how the body adapts to the death zone and what it means to reach the top of the high point on earth.
Today, we bring to you a list of these documentaries and movies about Everest, which are a must-watch if you want to understand the mountain and those who climb them and how it has changed over the years.
1. The Epic of Everest (1924)
This is one of the first documentaries to have been made about climbing Everest. Shot on the north side of the mountain, the documentary shows the attempt made by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Made by John Noel, the film helped establish a redemptive vision of the failed expedition where both Mallory and Irvine died. It is a one-of-a-kind documentary that shows how climbing was in the early 1900s, the things they had to take into consideration and the local lifestyle of the people living in the mountains.
2. The Conquest of Everest (1953)
As one of the best movies about Everest, this film tells the story of the first two men who climbed Everest – Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary. Directed by George Lowe, the documentary educates the audience about previous attempts at climbing the mountain and what the two did differently. It also shows how they prepared to climb, the acclimatisation camps and captures the pure emotion of Sherpa and Hillary after they achieved the impossible.
3. The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1975)
This documentary tells the story of the crazy Japanese alpinist Yuichiro Miura who in the spring of 1970, skied down Everest. The documentary, which won the Oscars in 1976, gives the audience a background on Miura and how he planned to ski off the tallest mountain in the world. One of the most interesting movies about Everest, the film shows his descent off the mountain and the harsh realities of climbing as around six Nepali climbers supporting the Japanese expedition died.
4. Into Thin Air: Death on Everest (1997)
This is one of the movies about Everest that shows the downside of commercial mountaineering. Based on a book by Jon Krakauer, the film tells the story of the 1996 Everest disaster, in which eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a storm. It shows how inexperienced climbers on a mountain like Everest played a major role in the death of people. Another film was made in 2015 titled Everest based on the same book, but since this was made a year after the disaster, it holds significant importance in the history of Everest and commercial mountaineering.
5. The Wildest Dream (2010)
The Wildest Dream is a 2010 feature documentary film about George Mallory who disappeared on Mount Everest in 1924 with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine. As one of the best movies about Everest, The film tells the story of two climbers, Mallory and adventurer Conrad Anker, who discovered Mallory’s body in 1999. The film also shows how Anker and British climber Leo Houlding try and emulate the manner in which Mallory and Irving climbed Everest.
6. Sherpa (2015)
This is one of the most important documentary movies about Everest. Titled Sherpa, the film focuses on the list of Phurba Tashi who, by 2015, had climbed Everest 21 times. It also shows how Nepali climbers, despite being beasts on mountains like Everest, were never given the due credit they deserved. It shows the harsh reality of these support climbers who make climbing a mountain like Everest possible as it shows how 16 Nepali support climbers died on the mountain when the Khumbu Icefall collapsed.
7. Porter: The Untold Story At Everest
This is another underrated gem among movies about Everest, in which a foreigner tries to become a porter and takes clients to the base camp. But, it is not all easy for American Nathaniel Menninger whose journey to succeed experiences the harsh reality, which shows the audience the dark side of Everest. With the pain of those who help make things possible for the people to reach the base of the highest mountain in the world, it is funny, it is emotional and it is heartbreaking. This film makes you realise the privileges you have.