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FEATURED FILMS AND DISCUSSIONS
Found on Everest SATURDAY, 8:00 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Found on Everest
Murph Goes to K2
Subdivide and Conquer
People of the Wind
Two of the members of the expedition, which searched the North Ridge of Everest for Sandy Irvine's body and the camera that may hold the clue to whether he and Mallory made the first ascent, were from Taos. Ski patrolman Dave Hahn will introduce the film and answer questions on the controversy that followed the expedition's rescue of climbers stranded on the summit ridge. USA, 52 minutes. In Person: Dave Hahn.
Sneak Preview of Excerpts from Vertical Frontier
SATURDAY, 8:00 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Yosemite. The Valley. For the climber there is nothing to rival it. Since the early sixties the strongest climbers from around the globe have come to test their mettle on its soaring granite faces. Director Kristy Cohen has scoured the archives of a disparate group of Yosemite filmmakers to assemble this definitive history of the climbing mecca. USA, 25 minutes.
Cadillac Desert FRIDAY, 6:00 PM, TCA
As water becomes an increasingly rare commodity, we show our second episode of the brilliant PBS series, which examines the use and abuse of water in the West. Superbly shot and cleverly edited, Jon Else's adroit adaptation of Marc Reisner's seminal treatise stands as the most comprehensive history of water in the west. Katie Lee, the doyenne of the river, will introduce this and other films on dams and their legacy. USA, 55 minutes In person: Katie Lee.
Quartzite's Falls SATURDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
The Salt River, in Arizona, plunges from the alpine forests to the sonoran heat and is a favorite of river runners of the southwest. Why a group of river guides would dynamite its most infamous rapid, Quartzite's Fall, and render it toothless, is the question examined in this investigative documentary. USA, 28 minutes.
Into the Tsangpo SATURDAY, 6:00 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Perhaps the last great river to be run, the Tsangpo had repelled many strong parties until a team led by Scott Lindgren arrived. Their successful descent of the great Himalayan torrent was documented by Outside TV. USA, 45 minutes. In person: Scott Lindgren and Les Guthman, head of Outside TV.
Endurance, a 21st Century Angle
FRIDAY, 8:00 PM, TCA and SUNDAY, 8:00 PM, TCA
Shackleton's incredible escape from the ice 'with all hands' has garnered much publicity recently. Taos Mountainfilm will show Endurance and offer a fresh perspective to the story through 21st century eyes. Scott Ransom, who was nominated for a British "Oscar" for his cinematography for the film, will present his own video of the Antarctic. Dave Hahn, Taos ski patrolman and Everest guide, will show slides of his attempts to repeat Shackleton's final leg across the rugged South Georgia mountains. USA, 90 minutes. In Person: Dave Hahn or Scott Ransom.
Ganga Ma SATURDAY, 6:00 PM, TCA
Haunting, lyrical, mesmerizing, Pepe Ozan's film follows the holiest pilgrimage of the Hindus from the Bay of Bengal to the Himalayan glaciers. Marc Liebekind's lilting score replaces the customary narration track to create a rare feast for the senses. USA, 57 minutes.
Ghosts of K2 SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
Part of an acclaimed BBC series, "The Mountain Men," this episode features the two American attempts on K2, 'the mountaineer's mountain.' Both expeditions are steeped in climbing lore: the stripping of the camps in '38, and the famous belay by Pete Shoening in '53. Bob Craig, one of the four whose lives Shoening saved, will introduce. UK, 55 minutes. In person: Bob Craig.
Triumph and Tragedy on K2 SATURDAY, 1:30 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Jim Curran's award winning film on the disastrous year of '86 shows the 'savage mountain' in all its moods. As if beckoning lambs to the slaughter, the early fine weather on the mountain allowed parties to summit only to trap them in a violent storm on its flanks. Two of Britain's finest climbers Alan Rouse and Julie Tullis perished while veteran alpinist Kurt Dienberger was tested to the core to escape the mountain's clutches. UK, 53 minutes. In person: Bob Craig.
Murph Goes to K2 SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
In stark contrast to the often-dour expedition film, comes a humorous and upbeat picture. Murph guides us through the stunning visuals of a journey through Pakistan and the subsequent ascent of K2. Few films will be able to 'ape' its originality. Canada, 52 minutes.
Devils Tower, In The Light of Reverance SATURDAY, 6:00 PM, TCA
We can mine national lands and ski on them, but when Native Americans want the same land for prayer and worship, we baulk - resulting in the longest legal battle in American history. Should climbers be allowed to climb Devils Tower or should it be deemed sacred and off limits? After viewing this thorough piece of investigative journalism, be ready to re-evaluate our history and the honor of certain climbers. USA, 27 minutes.
Subdivide and Conquer SATURDAY, 9:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
"Go West" young man for the promise of open space and clean air. But now one is more likely to find exactly what was left behind - air pollution and overpopulation. This award-winning documentary examines the social, political, and environmental problems of urban sprawl and searches for workable solutions. USA, 42 minutes.
African B.A.S.E. SUNDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
Building Aerial Span Earth. Accomplished filmmaker Nic Good follows a group of BASE jumpers across South Africa doing what they do best- leaping into the void. If you want to see what it feels like to jump off very large objects, but don't want to break your neck, check this out. It captures something that Hollywood tries often in vain to catch - fear and its rush! South Africa, 27 minutes.
Timeless SUNDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
Get back to the fundamentals of adventure cinema: image, sound, and snow.
Beautiful skiing and perfect powder will have you praying for El Niño. France, 12 minutes.
Jump SUNDAY, 1:00 PM, TCA
An exhilerating and sometimes hilarious account of the strange Czech practice of leaping between rock towers. Beautifully shot and directed by Allen Hill and veteran John Catto, this is a delightful story of a couple pursuing this unique quirky sport despite their advancing years and aching joints. USA, 30 minutes.
Scary Faces SUNDAY, 1:45 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Zach has an obsession - the run-out 5.11 of Jules Verne in Eldorado Canyon. Peter Mortimer's film builds a keen tension around Zach's preparation for his attempt through interviews with those who've made the spectacular failure on the route and the tragicomic sandbagging of one unfortunate visiting climber. USA, 65 minutes.
Mystery of Mt. McKinley SATURDAY, 3:45 PM, PLAZA THEATER
The history of mountaineering is built on trust and, occasionally, marred by doubt. At the summit there are no witnesses but those in the valley seldom question the word of the climber. However no first ascent has had as much doubt cast on it as Frederick Cook's claim to have bagged Mt. McKinley. This superb film from the BBC makes a thorough examination of the evidence and the man. UK, 55 minutes. In person: New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
Strapped SUNDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
For years top surfers longed to ride a fabulous wave off the Maui coast. The invention of tow-in surfing put them on the break and brought us this sensational footage. USA, 27 minutes.
Salathe: Blood, Sweat and Bagels FRIDAY, 8:15 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Richard Heap of Hard Grit fame turns his camera on to the famous route on El Cap. The award winning film takes a prosaic look at the trials of the free climber high on the cliff and far from home. UK, 46 minutes.
Uncommon Ground SATURDAY, 3:45 PM, PLAZA THEATER
The much-neglected Northeast gets a fresh slant from Rob Frost in this superbly conceived and edited piece. Historical weight and modern trends give the film balance. Even Henry Barber gets in a word! USA, 60 minutes.
La Conquete de Singapour SUNDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
La Conquete de Singapour (The Conquest of Singapore), the feats of Alain Robert will have you wiping the sweat from your palms. Unroped and unfazed he climbs the skyscrapers of Singapore - often into the arms of the police. France, 27 minutes.
Lower Orders FRIDAY, 8:15 PM, PLAZA THEATER
Brilliant animation from the Australian Broadcasting Corporations Natural History Unit illustrates a twist to the old joke "Waiter there's a fly in my soup." Australia, 6 minutes.
Laird SUNDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
Hang five, or more, if you dare, with legendary big wave rider, Laird Hamilton. The awesome beauty of huge waves and the men bold enough to ride them highlight this exhilarating film. USA, 37 minutes.
First B.A.S.E. SUNDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
The base-jumping film that stunned the mountain film world. Seven minutes of eye-popping images from around the globe as jumpers hurl themselves from anything high enough to allow them time to throw the drogue. Australia, 7 minutes.
Desert Friction SUNDAY, 11:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
South African climbers turn their attention from the 'rails' of Capetown to the friction climbs on the domes of Namibia. A delightful award-winning piece from South African filmmaker Nic Good. South Africa, 27 minutes.
Valhalla SUNDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
Teton Gravity Research delivers again. The dudes who thrilled us last year with Nurpu bring us another feast of incredible whitewater stunts from the cold, wild rivers of Scandanavia. USA, 53 minutes.
Cell Animation SATURDAY, 8:00 PM, PLAZA THEATER
A trapped artist paints himself out of a hole. Australia, 6 minutes.
Turtle World SATURDAY, 6:00 PM, TCA
A delightful jab at man's assumptions of superiority. Australia, 9 minutes.
The Grand Canyon Suite SATURDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
Ferde Grofé's masterpiece played by the London Festival Orchestra evokes the majesty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Combined with images of the Canyon by Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Don Briggs, who has spent 25 years photographing and filming its wonders, this is a stunning and essential American musical and visual travelogue. USA 1998, 32 minutes.
Let the River Run SATURDAY, 3:30 PM, TCA
Katie Lee and David Brower, then Executive Director of the Sierra Club, were two of the last people to run the Glen Canyon before it was flooded. Lili Schad assembled Brower's 16mm footage into a poignant memory of that gorgeous place. USA, 20 minutes. In person: Katie Lee.
Triumph and Tragedy on Firecracker Hill SUNDAY, 8:15 PM, PLAZA THEATER
This hilarious spoof of the expedition was one of Harding's favorites at
last year's festival. USA, 9 minutes.
Mustang SUNDAY, 10:00 AM, TCA
This tiny remote kingdom pinched between Nepal and Tibet on the world's highest plateau has a population of 5,000 and not a single road. Pavol Barabas' gorgeous cinematography and a thoughtful understated commentary give this film an ethereal quality that has helped it garner awards throughout the world. Slovakia, 27 minutes.
People of the Wind SUNDAY, 10:00 AM, TCA
Quality cinematography and a compelling story of nomadic sheepherders from Western Iraq sustain this timeless tale. Driven by an irascible patriarch, the clan makes the grueling trek across the Zagros Mountains, a range as high as the Alps and as broad as Switzerland, to reach summer pastures. UK, 115 minutes.
As the world braces for a second war with Iraq, we attempt to throw light on the issue through our proven format of film and discussion. Documentaries will show the effect of sanctions on the Iraqi people and demonstrate the smartness of our bombing and the meaning of 'collateral' damage. Discussion will follow with Rahim al-Hag, a renowned Iraqi oud player, Jeff Guntzel, a spokeperson for "Voices in the Wilderness" and Suzy Kane, Taos resident and Iraqi.
Nowhere to Hide SUNDAY, 9:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
As war with Saddam Hussein looms large we return to Iraq immediately after the first gulf war with former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Discover how smart our bombs really were and what the military euphemism 'collateral damage' meant to the people on the ground. USA, 30 minutes.
Let Iraq Live, The Iraq Sanctions Challenge
SUNDAY, 9:30 AM, PLAZA THEATER
A strong grass roots movement challenges the efficacy of a decade of sanctions imposed on Iraq chiefly at the insistence of the British and American governments. Are they bringing the country to its knees? Who are most affected by the embargo - the leadership, the people or the children? USA, 34 minutes.
THE DRUG TRADE
The Drug War
The New Silk Road
Marcha por la Dignidad
Who has and who now controls the drug trade? What effects do the attempts to eradicate drug production in the field have on indigenous people? How are their lives altered by the policy of the developed countries to attack the problem overseas rather than at home? What price do poor farmers pay when third world governments accept funding for fumigation and destruction of crops? How has the 'north's' demand for refined forms of drugs affected the traditional use of the raw substance in the 'south'? These questions will be examined through a comprehensive series of documentary films and open panel discussions with: New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson; Sanho Tree, an expert on drug policy and Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies; Sally Denton, author of the Blue Grass Conspiracy; and a representative of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Coca Mama SATURDAY, 1:30 PM, TCA
Jan Thielen's exhaustive documentary, filmed in four Andean countries over a year, examines the plight of indigenous coca farmers. Caught between the drug cartels, who pay them to grow coca, and attacked by drug patrols, who fumigate their crops, they can only protest in vain as their fish and plants die and their children fall sick.
Argentina 55 minutes.
The New Silk Road SATURDAY, 9:30 AM, TCA
A fascinating odyssey by a BBC crew pursues the trail of opium from Afghanistan to the markets of the West. From the afghan poppy fields, over snow-swept passes and through a hundred hands and a dozen price hikes, we see corruption and intrigue tainting the lives of those who are touched by all forms of opiates. England, 43 minutes.
The Unholy Alliance SATURDAY, 9:30 AM, TCA
Politics has always played its part in the drug trade but over the last half century the extent of the involvement of dominant governments has escalated. This Australian documentary exposes in detail the intrigue between agencies pursuing their government's agenda and the drug lords, whose trade they are claiming to reduce. Australia, 53 minutes.
A series of short films gathered exclusively for Mountainfilm by the grassroots filmmaking consortium, Cefrec/Caib based in La Paz, Bolivia. Unprecedented access and a widespread network has enabled these filmmakers to bring us startling footage of the struggle of campesi–os throughout the Andes for their traditional way of life in the face of often violent oppression from drug barons, governments and the many shadowy agencies in between. None of these films have been screened in the US. The five films in this report include Chapare, Marcha Por La Dignidad, Exigimos Justicia, Amapola-La Flor Maldita, Floricaita Del Parque.
Chapare SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, TCA
Prisoners in a remote farm are forced to cultivate the coca plant for their overseers - a 'crime' for which they themselves were initially imprisoned. Representatives of the IMF build water treatment plants on condition the villagers eradicate the coca. The peasant farmers of the Chapare province struggle with a variety of incentives and deterrents to their traditional cultivation of the coca plant. Bolivia, 32 minutes.
Marcha por la Dignidad SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, TCA
Marcha por la Dignidad (March for Dignity): A large group of women march through the Bolivian Andes to protest the coca eradication program. Bolivia, 3 minutes.
Exigimos Justicia SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, TCA
Exigimos Justicia (We Demand Justice): Ley(law) 1008 was instigated by the Bolivian government in 1985 after intense pressure from the US. Ill-defined and wide-sweeping, it allows the authorities to imprison anyone remotely connected with the movement of the coca leaf. Tens of thousands of Bolivians now languish in jails under appalling conditions, thanks to this legislation, which punishes them for pursuing their tradition. Bolivia, 26 minutes.
Amapola, La Flor Maldita SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, TCA
Amapola, La Flor Maldita (Opium, the Cursed Flower): The defoliant glifosanto, considered too weak by Columbian authorities and their US advisors, has caused hideous deformities in new-born children and destroyed animal, fish and plant life wherever it falls. The people in this remote Columbian province fight in vain to halt the spraying. Columbia, 25 minutes.
Floricita del Parque SATURDAY, 11:30 AM, TCA
A girl's anguish over the army's attack on her family's property is expressed in poignant song. Columbia, 5 minutes.
Trainspotting SATURDAY, 8:00 PM, TCA
This challenging masterpiece put the film's director, Danny Boyle on the map. Great music (Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Blur, New Order and Brain Eno) and clever anecdotal editing sweep these deranged Scotsmen on a downward spiral to a point where they must choose life or continue on a trail of self-destruction. A thrilling, disturbing glance into the madness of the drug culture.