„Wall of shadows” won the Bergen Film Festival

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute the latest film by Eliza Kubarska and Monika Braid – „Wall of shadows” awarded for the best documentary at the International Film Festival in Bergen. It had its world premiere at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, but it was screened for the first time in Poland during the 17th edition of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival.

It is a universal story about a clash of two cultures. The action takes place at the foot of the Himalayas, reaching almost 8,000 meters Kumbhakarna, also known as Jannu. For Western climbers it is one of the most difficult mountains in the world and a dream place to „conquer”, but for Nepalese Sherpas – one of the last holy mountains. According to local beliefs, its summit is inhabited by gods and people are not allowed to enter their area. However, the illiterate Nada decides to take part in the expedition. For 20 years he has been risking his life as a porter at high altitudes, hanging ropes on eight-thousanders. Now he wants to earn money for school for his youngest son – teenage Dawa – and thus save him from the dangerous work of a Himalayan porter. However, participating in an expedition to the sacred mountain is a taboo break.

The mountaineers who intend to reach the virgin eastern face of Kumbhakarna are the outstanding Polish climber Marcin Tomaszewski and the two-time climcer „Oscar” winners (Golden Czekan) – Dmitri Golovchenko and Sergey Nilov from Russia. Breakdown of weather and avalanches threatening climbers are just the beginning of increasing difficulties. Is it worth risking further? Will the Kumbhakarna gods forgive people for their audacity?

A dangerous journey for the film

The production of „Walls of Shadows” is material for a separate story. The filmmakers visited Nepal three times, and the 4K photos were taken at an altitude of up to 7,400 meters in winter conditions in the Himalayas. The climbing of mountaineers turned out to be so ambitious and risky that the action was followed by the media from all over the world.

„Wall of Shadows” is the third joint film by the female team of director Eliza Kubarska and producer Monika Braid. It was created in a Polish-German-Swiss co-production. The cinematographer is Piotr Rosołowski, an award-winning director, screenwriter and cinematographer, who also co-wrote the script. The sound was made by Franciszek Kozłowski and Zofia More. Special photos were taken by Keith Partridge from Great Britain and the climbers themselves. The editing of the film is the work of Barbara Toennieshen from Germany, and the music was composed by Marcel Vaid from Switzerland.