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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Nature > Mountain Climbing > Sherpa (2015/Lionsgate DVD)

Sherpa (2015/Lionsgate DVD)

Picture: C Sound: C Extras: C Documentary: B+

Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Each year, climbers have dared to climb it at the risk of life and limb, just to see what it looks like from the top of the world, but that is what the most of us hear, of those who tried to climb the mountain ...the successes, the failures... what we don't hear or know is of those who make it possible, the Sherpas. The Sherpas are the mountain people who live around Everest, nomads and outcasts originally ...but now they are the guides who help guide those up the mountain, Jennifer Peedon's Sherpa (2015) is their story.

Every year, people die trying to climb Mt. Everest. But what they don't tell is those who helping those who climb them. The Sherpa people are one of the original climbers to Mt. Everest, now their entire race, village and livelihood depends on them as guides/supply runners for the tourists. They are the ones who help supply and run the base camps, they bring food, water, the heat, the training, even air. A single Sherpa could climb the mountain over 30 times a year to help bring supplies up the mountain. In 2013, they got into a fight with visitors and in 2014, an avalanche killed over 16 Sherpas. The government profits millions each year from tourists coming to Mt Everest, and now after generations of indentured service the Sherpa people demands government to help make more safety for it's climbers and it's people.

Climbing Mt. Everest has also turned into a multi-million dollar business. The government charges millions from tourists all over the world without lifting a finger, but the real work is done by the Sherpa people. But after the 2014 tragedy, they demanded government aid after an avalanche took the lives 16 men and compensation for their families. The government was afraid of losing their clients/profit, the tourists afraid of losing their chances to climb Mt. Everest, and the Sherpa afraid for their lives and families.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image (shot in several so-so digital cameras) and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound are watchable, but the footage is undeniably rough throughout, so don't expect IMAX quality or stability, like an actual title shot in the film format or a few other previous documentary entries in that mode. Extras include The Making of Sherpa and Deleted Scenes.

- Ricky Chiang


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