Starring: Nirmal Purja
Director: Torquil Jones
Running Time: 101 mins
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is an American documentary about Nirmal Purja, who attempted to climb the fourteen highest mountains in the world in a record time of just seven months.
I love a good climbing documentary. From Free Solo to Touching The Void and more, there’s always something spectacular and cathartic about stories of man against nature, very literally aiming for the top of the world. And 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is no different.
Although not quite as emotionally exhilarating as the films mentioned above, 14 Peaks is an enormously impressive tale of ambition against all the odds. Directed in sleek fashion by Torquil Jones, this is a brilliant account of Nirmal Purja’s record-breaking attempt to climb the world’s fourteen highest mountains.
There’s a lot about 14 Peaks that makes it a gripping documentary, and the human side of the story is certainly part of that. However, for me, the most striking thing about this movie is the fact that so much of the footage was filmed in the first place – up on top of the planet’s greatest peaks – and is stitched together in such sleek fashion.
Combining phone and GoPro footage with soaring, spectacular landscapes that further bring home the monumental task of scaling these mountains, 14 Peaks is a fantastic and most importantly hugely accessible window into the world of mountaineering, backed up by a consistent and inspiring theme of ambition against all odds.
And it’s not just the odds of man versus nature at the centre of the movie, but as the film unfolds and Purja is closer to achieving his goal of scaling all fourteen peaks, a combination of personal and political scenarios put his bid further into jeopardy, adding to the depth of the story beyond merely being a documentation of climbing mountains.
Overall, I was a big fan of 14 Peaks. A strong documentary that, while not scaling the heights of the best in its genre, delivers gripping drama, spectacular visuals and an inspiring story throughout. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4.