The last screening in this semester is the nail-biting suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps
(2008, 126 min, dir. Philip Stölzl, starring Ulrich Tukur and Benno Fürmann, English subtitles)
TIME: 5.00 p.m. (we’ll have a bring & share before, during and after screening)
VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing 1st Floor, German Programme, Media Room F251
About the film:
Set in 1936, just before the Berlin Olympics, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif – the Eiger – two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent. The importance of this climb is paramount to the Nazi party, who wishes to announce to the world during the upcoming Olympics that Germans were the first to ever summit the North Face.

This was a genre irrevocably tainted by its association with the Nazi regime. During the 1930s, as the Nazis prepared for war, the propaganda value in movies about rugged young Aryans conquering tricky Alpine peaks was self-evident. Indeed, the mountain movies’ biggest star had been a certain Leni Riefenstahl. In the days before she directed Triumph of the Will and Olympia for Hitler, Riefenstahl had been obsessed by the mountaineering movies of Arnold Fanck, the great pioneer of this new cinematic form. Philipp Stoelzl’s brave new film North Face is an attempt to drag the German mountain movie from this dark crevasse. One might have expected the young, Munich-born filmmaker – a keen mountaineer himself – to clamber as far away from the Third Reich as possible. Instead, the movie is set right in the middle of the Nazi era. Loosely based on the true stories of Kurz and Hinterstoisser, the film chronicles their ill-fated 1936 attempt to climb the Eiger via the north face.
For mountaineering enthusiasts, there is plenty of mountain climbing to keep you smiling… and on the edge of your seat. For those of you who do not climb, the movie is just technical enough to give you an understanding of the challenges and nuances of the sport, without becoming too technical.




For further details, please contact:

Dr. Marion Pape
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Language, Literature & Linguistics
German Programme
Durban, 4041
TEL: 031-260 1086/2380
FAX: 031-260 1242

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