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Touching the Void

Touching the Void

2003
Documentary
1h 46m
In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on... (imdb)
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Touching the Void

2003
Documentary
1h 46m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 70.1% from 1195 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1195)
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Rated 02 May 2015
85
81st
Touching the Void is an essential documentary. The struggle is so real that you can feel it on your skin while watching it. Touching the Void is a stripped experience. It is not a philosophical meditation on death. It is not a cheesy reflection on conquering oneself and growing in the face of struggle. It is not even a portrait of the elusive psyche of a risk-taking mountaineer. It is a story of fighting to take just one more step. And one more. And then one. And suddenly not being dead anymore.
Rated 29 Oct 2008
91
94th
Beautiful cinematography and emotional commentary make this unbelievable story that much better. Highly recommended, even if you're not a documentary fan.
Rated 16 Sep 2008
78
78th
Really captivating documentary about two young climbers attempting to go where no one ever went before. It shows you a story of courage, struggle, happiness, endurance, faith, despair, hope and survival... Very beautifully reenacted from start to finish while the real individuals tell the story where the pictures can't.
Rated 16 Mar 2010
74
40th
Very well made and informative documentary about a pair of mountain climbers going through harsh travails mostly of their own making. I wasn't especially engrossed, though, as I was a little put off by their personalities and, while the reconstruction featured some beautiful shots, I felt the acting was grating.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
83
87th
Really captivating documentary about two young climbers attempting to go where no one ever went before. It shows you a story of courage, struggle, happiness, endurance, faith, despair, hope and survival... Very beautifully reenacted from start to finish while the real individuals tell the story where the pictures can't.
Rated 29 Jul 2009
15
83rd
With material this good, a documentary doesn't have to do much: thankfully, "Touching the Void" takes a step back, and lets Simpson, Yates and Hawking tell their incredible story warts-and-all. The result is a refreshingly---indeed, staggeringly---honest account of a truly hellish experience, one that oozes tension and excitement.
Rated 11 Feb 2010
85
92nd
What's amazing about this documentary is that it re-enacts step by step through the tragedy as it unfolds. It also explains in layman's terms the technical details behind mountain climbing and the emotional state of everyone involved. Very insightful and powerful piece about survival.
Rated 24 May 2011
4
70th
A harrowing story told quite well; the combination of narration from the principals, and superb (and surprisingly realistic) recreations of the events, makes for a very gripping and detailed experience of Joe and Simon's plight. Mountains ain't nothin' to fuck with.
Rated 06 Feb 2012
82
86th
I knew everyone was going to make it out alive, but that didn't diminish the effect of the nightmarish scenario unfolding before my eyes. At times I forgot I was watching actors recreate the events, and I felt pretty damn tense once things started to go horribly, horribly wrong. It's great that the people interviewed freely talk about the darker sides of their emotions and decisions. Gripping stuff.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
87th
A remarkable and thrilling tale. I was seriously biting my knuckles during parts of it... even though, being a documentary, one knows how it all turns out in the end. Gorgeous shots of the mountain, and excellent re-creation job.
Rated 17 Apr 2007
85
73rd
A statistic quoted at one point in Touching the Void says that 80% of all climbing accidents happen on the way down rather than up. It's fitting, then, that at least 80% of the film revolves around the descent. The fascinating story is beautifully re-created, partially shot on the actual location where the events took place. It's almost like the guys had a cameraman with them for the actual climb. Very gripping and satisfying.
Rated 10 Nov 2008
75
88th
Really captured the moments with enjoyable reenactments.
Rated 21 Nov 2008
85
92nd
Powerful, touching and effective.
Rated 26 Sep 2022
8
87th
Sometimes reality is even more dramatic than fiction. What a story! The contrast between the gruesome tale of survival and the very calm tone of the narrator makes for a rather unique docu-drama.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
74th
Nature is cruel. Fuck nature.
Rated 21 Jun 2011
75
14th
Decent enough and the story is well told with a nice blend of reconstruction and direct account.
Rated 24 Jul 2022
80
50th
dağcılık filmlerine daldığım bugünlerde inanması güç hikayelerden biri daha.
Rated 25 May 2011
80
69th
Excellent re-enacting until the final 25 minutes or so when I would've preferred more interviews with the principals and less re-enacting (it became tedious). Miss opportunities: Many criticized Simon's actions; this should have been explored. What happened when Joe returned to base camp? Did he still have amicable feelings towards Simon a day or two later? For all it does right, this film does not fully capitalize on the human element of the story. First hour of the film is a 90/100.
Rated 11 Apr 2008
50
42nd
Don't climb mountains, dumbass!
Rated 02 May 2019
85
54th
This film has stuck with me since it came out.
Rated 03 Oct 2012
63
67th
What was with that third guy. "Hey let's burn that dead guy's clothes, and um, let's just leave alright? No need to check the area one last time to see if he's alive."
Rated 11 May 2009
8
93rd
Incredibly suspenseful.
Rated 13 Jul 2008
90
92nd
Fascinating true story.
Rated 27 Nov 2016
21
11th
Some beautiful pictures of mountains, and an impressive story of perseverance in the face of death did not move me because I can be a heartless sod.
Rated 30 Sep 2012
70
69th
So that's what Wallace (Simon) does when he's not hanging out with Gromit. I was REALLY hoping that when Joe fell into that crevasse that he would find a way out to a secret shortcut and make his way back to camp before Simon. I picture him just sitting there with a disappointed look holding the cut rope in his hand and shaking his head. Unfortunately rather, Joe's adventure back made the movie DRAG... OHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Rated 09 Jun 2009
95
53rd
Unrivaled cinematography, great story-telling
Rated 18 Oct 2012
83
81st
As a climber, I was sceptic to see this movie as the movies often depict climbing as this egoistic, looking-for-something-beyond activity. Luckily, the story in this film is brutally simple, straightforward, and (correctly!) focused on the narrative of the main protagonists. I'd say the only proper way to depict a climbing accident such as this, with no judgemental thoughts.
Rated 13 Aug 2018
80
68th
Richard you stupid bastard.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
64th
A fascinating mixture of interviews with the real individuals involved and dramatisation. Well worth a look for an exhilirating true story.
Rated 28 Aug 2007
78
84th
A touching drama/documentary.
Rated 27 Dec 2008
82
69th
Fascinating documentary about two young lads who thought they could conquer the world but were confronted by the harsh reality of low probability events.
Rated 06 Dec 2010
65
54th
Interesting documentary with a lot of strong scenes. Sadly the beginning is very drawn out and IMHO the ending suffers by being quite abrupt.
Rated 23 May 2020
85
87th
Immersive, artistic, psychologically vivid, and mesmerizing, especially for a doc.
Rated 13 Jul 2020
87
65th
A-
Rated 21 Nov 2014
65
71st
Well-told documentary about the consequences of risk-taking, the will to survive, and luck.
Rated 27 Mar 2012
84
75th
Very compelling documentary. The reenactments were sometimes a bit awkward, but without them it would just be a podcast, or a slideshow of mountains. Near the end, they took some weird editing techniques on Joe. The story itself is pretty amazing. I didn't know anything about it going in, so I was on the edge of my seat. I did know they eventually survived, based on the fact they were in the documentary narrating it. I don't blame Simon for cutting the rope.
Rated 02 Jun 2007
80
68th
A documentary with re-enactments about a climbing expedition that turned out VERY badly. These rock climber dudes are crazier than I ever thought of being
Rated 20 May 2010
90
93rd
Once you get the fact that mountaineers, by the very nature of what they do, are fucking idiots, out of your system, there's an absolutely stunning account of survival and a one mean moral predicament to think about afterwards.
Rated 18 Feb 2012
75
77th
Normally I would expect a documentary with so much re-enactment to be horrible (and reminiscent of a tv show). However, it's really gripping even though you know the ending from the get-go. Check it out
Rated 31 May 2023
80
76th
Ein Dokudrama, das auf dem Buch "Touching the Void" basiert, also nachgestellt und von Beteiligten kommentiert. Wäre in den 80ern auch kaum filmbar gewesen, mit den großen Kameras. Wichtige Knoten: Doppelter Spierenstich bei der Seilverbindung und Prusikknoten beim Versuch, über dem Abgrund hängend hochzuraupen. Wenn der Film nicht übertrieben hat, ist Joe nur durch unglaubliches Glück, Durchhaltevermögen und dank eines üblen Ohrwurms von Boney M. noch am Leben.
Rated 13 Jan 2019
77
74th
A superb docu-drama that catches you from starting to ending
Rated 04 Aug 2007
93
96th
The amazing thing about this is that although you get interviews with the climbers in the present day, watching the reconstructions you're thinking "No way they're going to survive this. Just no way."
Rated 24 Aug 2013
87
91st
86.500
Rated 17 Dec 2023
99
68th
A wonderful reminder of how uncompromising nature can be, and how limitless humankind's resolve is. I got transported to the cold march morning in Nepal 6 years ago when I stood, shivering, at the foot of the giant face of Annapurna while waiting for the golden sunlight to adorn the southern peak, a crown jewel that I could only admire at a distance.
Rated 10 Sep 2008
69
50th
Surprisingly gripping, albeit somewhat forgettable. But for a documentary, it offers a legitimate view of the human condition.
Rated 28 Jan 2013
65
59th
Captivating story, well made documentary.
Rated 22 Nov 2011
91
87th
An absolutely unbelievable tale of survival and the human mind when faced with death on a mountain.
Rated 08 Nov 2022
60
71st
A very well told story. Climbers are daft.
Rated 08 Feb 2010
84
93rd
Tense documentary as gripping as any thriller. The recreations of key scenes (using the original protagonists) are phenomenal.
Rated 31 Jan 2011
30
78th
"If you refuse to buy Mackey and Aaron as Simpson and Yates, there's no mistaking the authenticity of the film's non-human entity." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 01 Mar 2007
65
73rd
Great film.
Rated 27 Feb 2024
85
76th
In one word, gripping. Especially liked the emphasis on psychological condition of the mountaineers. The sheer spirit to survival
Rated 06 May 2012
67
12th
I'm not into documentaries, but hoped this one would be different because of the good reviews on here. I found it laughably stupid; I felt like I was watching melodramatic South Park caricatures.
Rated 03 Aug 2008
95
97th
excellent
Rated 03 Feb 2021
90
88th
This documentary won some awards and rightly so. Based of the one mountain climbers book, this shows the beauty and tragic side of this hobby. But mostly the tragic side. Beauty has shown by landscape and great camera work. Superbly done documentary.
Rated 23 May 2015
82
67th
An incredible story recreated very well thanks to beautiful shots and serious reenactments, which I don't usually like in documentaries, but in this case it fully immerses you in the suspense and fear of these two mens' situation.
Rated 08 Mar 2018
90
99th
This is a fantastic documentary of a truly amazing tale, interspersing docu-drama recreations with talking head interviews with the two main players. Kudos must be given to the direction, not only the fantastic cinematography of Siula Grande, but the way in which the entire piece draws you in: You become Joe, feeling his every emotion and coming out of the experience almost as shattered as the man himself. The follow-up docs and extras on the DVD just add to this great story.
Rated 29 Dec 2014
90
95th
Holy moly, this is an incredible feat of survival by Joe. This guy has a mind of steel.
Rated 23 Apr 2007
77
73rd
So honest.
Rated 30 Sep 2014
85
86th
2 extra points for the Boney M scene lol.
Rated 28 Aug 2010
73
27th
The reenactments and photography are very good but this is the definition of an interesting real life story that simply does not have enough meat on its bones to make for a 100-minute feature. It seems like half of the movie is devoted to Joe's recollections, but outside of his refusal to turn to God on death's door, nothing very interesting happens. I was hoping they'd cover his arrival at base camp more and the aftermath of his journey down, but that only eats up EIGHT minutes of screen time.
Rated 24 Aug 2018
80
90th
Great documentary and unbelievable story.

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