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Bringing to life Joe Simpson's book of the same name, TOUCHING THE VOID details the near-death experience he endured during a 1985 attempt to climb the only mountain in the Peruvian Andes that had not been scaled--the 21,000-foot Siula Grande. With his partner Simon Yates, Simpson successfully reached the peak after a three-day climb. During the descent, however, he fell and shattered several bones in his right leg. Yates attempted to lower Simpson down the mountain 300 feet at a time, but the process was slow and painful for both men. With no food or water, they would both surely die--which left Yates with a painful choice to make--cutting Simpson loose, thus ensuring at least his own survival. This was only the beginning of Simpson's mind-boggling odyssey.
Director Kevin McDonald (ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER) tells this compelling story by combining talking-head interviews with Simpson and Yates and stunningly photographed narrative footage--in which Simpson and Yates' ordeal is actually re-enacted on Siula Grande. McDonald's re-enactment footage is both engrossing and eye-popping and it could easily stand alone as its own one-of-a-kind adventure film. The interviews, however, add depth that make this a unique, thrilling, and emotional piece of cinema.