Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Fine Line - Summits Of My Life movie review

A Fine Line is the first documentary film in the Summits Of My Life project by Kilian Jornet and Sébastien Montaz. It was released today. I downloaded and watched it right away after some minor technical issues (the simple solution was to add '.mp4' to the end of the file name for it to play on iMac).

The movie is about the fine line between life and death. What drives an athlete like Kilian Jornet to take calculated risks on the mountains day after day? Kilian's mother Núria and sister Naila tell their personal views. A wide range of Kilian's friends from FC Barcelona defender Carles Puyol to trail runner Anna Frost are featured as well for a more comprehensive picture.

The film starts with Kilian's VO2 max test, mixed with Alpine running in deep snow. We are shown some trail running clips from Transvulcania 2012. Then there are some spectacular shots from Aosta Valley, where Kilian displays some of his his skiing and poses on top of Gran Paradiso (4,061m).

The film is completely free of any unnecessary hype. It doesn't try to strengthen Kilian's superstar status, but rather prove that he is just a human being (some of Kilian's competitors have seriously doubted that). For example there is a clip of a spectacular ski fail. Also a psychologist explains in layman terms what goes on in Kilian's mind, who has spent most of his life in the Pyrenees above 2,000 meters.

Summit of My Life - Premiere from Summits of My Life on Vimeo.

Kilian has already won all the races in his bucket list, so he is nowadays mostly motivated by his personal mountain projects. One of those was Les Contamines-Mont Blanc-Mont Maudit-Champex 63 km traverse (+7,800m). As Kilian's mom states proudly in the film, that is a feat no-one has ever done before.

The best part comes at the end, when Kilian's Courmayeur-Mont Blanc-Chamonix 42 km traverse via Innominata Ridge is covered. He set a new record of in 8h 42min 57s. It's a beautiful day with great views from the air.

The film is dedicated to the memory of Stéphane Brosse (20.11.1972-17.6.2012). One of Kilian's closest friends, he is featured frequently in the film. His tragic death beside Kilian shadows the overall mood of this slightly sad but mainly inspiring movie.

A Fine Line is only 52 minutes long, but it's packed with fantastic footage for mountain lovers. I wouldn't mind if it were a bit longer, but it's well worth the download price (6.95€), and you will probably watch it again and again over the years. The editing is great, the music is good, the video quality is excellent and the camera work is amazing.

After seeing this film everyone will understand and remember Stéphane Brosse's last piece of advice: "There is happiness everywhere, we just need to see it".


Premshree said...

Thanks for this review Jukka! I enjoyed the movie.

Premshree said...
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Trail Plodder said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie Premshree! But be cautious or you may find yourself running on steep mountain trails in the next few years :)