Film Review: Torn

The Lowes

Countless generations have been drawn by the call of the mountains. To scale the summit of mighty ice-covered peaks and reach for the sky. We’re somehow programmed to want to explore. To go places where no one else has ever been before. It’s a challenge. A test of human endurance. To escape the billions of fellow humans who populate this planet and find peace and tranquillity. It can take over all your time. Even become an obsession. This spirit of adventure can act like a drug.

Alex Lowe was one of the greatest and most acclaimed climbers of his generation. The American mountaineer’s skill and enthusiasm inspired countless young imaginations to look to the skies. In 1999, whilst climbing Shishapangma, a mountain in Tibet, he was killed (along with photographer David Bridges) in an avalanche. Miraculously, Conrad Anker survived and led a rescue, but to no avail. He eventually went on to marry Alex’s widow, Jennifer. Torn is their story.

Torn is the story of a family. One that has been ripped apart, but also glued back together again. This is not your usual ‘extreme adventure’ documentary and is all the better for it. It’s an entirely personal film and for director Max Lowe very much a cathartic exercise. This is not the story of one life but the story of several brought together by the love of one man. Torn is a moving portrait of a family coming to terms with, and moving on from, their grief.

Torn is out in UK cinemas from 21 January.

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