CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • Production
  • 15
  • Adventure, Documentary
  • 2003
  • 106 mins

Touching The Void

Touching The Void

Synopsis

Stunning docudrama about a 1985 mountaineering expedition that went horribly wrong, told in the words of the survivors. From the director of the Oscar-winning One Day In September

About

If you're of a squeamish disposition, look away now. When Joe Simpson fell off the 6344 metre high Andean mountain Siula Grande during an informal expedition with his friend Simon Yates, he shattered his leg, the bone splitting over his kneecap. They had only just started the descent and, with no rescue team, Simon began to lower Joe down the treacherous slopes until he accidentally sent him over a crevasse. There was no way back, and after desperately hanging on in the freezing cold for over an hour, Simon did the only thing he could - he cut the rope. Joe fell 50 metres into a cave of ice but miraculously survived, and his amazing mix of courage and blind stubbornness saw him inch his way back down the mountain over three agonising days.

Based on Simpson's book of the same name, written after the climbing community practically excommunicated Yates for his actions, it has been brought to the screen by Kevin Macdonald, the director behind the Oscar-winning One Day In September. Yates and Simpson's talking heads are intercut with footage of actors (Aaron and Mackey) re-creating the story, and while the drama is powerful on its own, the film belongs to the real life adventurers. Blessed with that very English dry wit and tendency to understate, they tell their tale vividly and their total honesty makes it even more admirable.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Joe Simpson, Simon Yates, Nicholas Aaron, Brendan Mackey
  • Director: Kevin Macdonald
  • Writer: Joe Simpson
  • Producer: John Smithson
  • Photographer: Mike Eley

In a nutshell

Superlatives get bandied about a lot, but Touching The Void manages to be deeply affecting and inspiring without resorting to mushy sentimentality. A film to make you believe in heroes again.

Clips

Video

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Decision At Sundown

    Decision at Sundown

    Randolph Scott's Bart Allison and his sidekick arrive in the town of Sundown on the wedding day of the man Bart blames for the death of his wife

  • Film4 Drug War

    Drug War

    Johnnie To's crime thriller about the uneasy partnership between a drug lord and a police captain

  • Film4 It's A Wonderful Life

    Christmas on Film4

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas as we decorate the season with great films on Film4

  • Film4 The Descendants

    The Descendants on Film4

    George Clooney stars as a father who tries to reconnect with his two daughters after their mother falls into a coma on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

  • Film4 Touching The Void

    John Smithson

    on the difficulties of producing Touching the Void

Share