The Wall Of Shadows
“Artful….striking and frequently scary”
Leila Latif, TOTAL FILM
“Conjure[s] up a real sense of awe and majesty.”
A Tull Stories Adventure Club release.
Find out more about Adventure Club here.
A breathtaking and beautifully-filmed story from the Sherpas’ perspective, The Wall Of Shadows presents the meeting of two worlds and a clash of values at the heart of climbing culture.
Amongst many others, The Wall Of Shadows’ has received the award for Best Climbing Film at Banff 2020, the Documentaire Extraordinaire award at the Bergen International Film Festival, the Mario Bello Award at the Trento Film Festival and the Grand Prize at Ulju Mountain Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Best Documentary award at Hot Docs 2020.
In faraway Eastern Nepal, there is a holy mountain called Kumbhakarna (aka Jannu). Its peak is home to gods and demons. No man can touch its slopes and it is believed that a Sherpa who dares set foot on the mountain, will die. It is also a Himalayan peak (7710m) famous for its 3000m unclimbed east face, the most difficult climb in modern alpinism, and the top trophy. Westerners’ and local people’s attitudes to the mountain are a world apart.
At the foot of Kumbhakarna at 4000m lays the small Sherpa village Kambachen. There are just 30 houses. in one of them lives Ngada Sherpa and his family.
Ngada is born and bred in the mountains. He is the best high-altitude porter in the area: he carries equipment and sets the ropes for alpinists up to the summits, very often risking his life with little in return. He has climbed Everest nine times, and Kanchenjunga two times. His wife, Jomdoe Sherpa works as a porter, carrying heavy loads on steep icy tracks to base camps. They have a son – Dawa, who is 16-year-old.
Life in the Himalayas at this altitude is a struggle for survival. Despite the fact that for a decade Ngada has worked with international expeditions, his family lives on the edge of poverty. When he works in the mountains, his wife and son work in the fields planting and harvesting potatoes. Dawa dreams of becoming a doctor, but his family cannot afford his further education.
When Ngada is offered work on an expedition to the forbidden slopes of Kumbhakarna, he must decide whether or not to accept the work, opposing his faith and lamas’ warnings.
The stakes are high. If he agrees, he will earn big money, much more than on other expeditions, and pay for the first two years of Dawa’s medical school in Kathmandu.
Will the Gods of Kumbhakarna forgive the people for their insolence?
The Wall Of Shadows features Marcin Tomaszewski, one of the most prominent Polish climbers, and the Russian climbers Dmitry Golovchenko and Sergey Nilov, the double recipients of ‘the climbing Oscar’: Piolet d’Or.
About ELIZA KUBARSKA, the film’s director
Eliza is a director, alpinist and traveller. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and Wajda Film School in Poland. Since 2004 she directed awarded worldwide documentary films, often produced in extreme locations: What happened on Pam Island (TVP, 2010), made on Greenland; Walking Under Water, ZDF/Arte, 2014), filmed on the seas around Borneo and underwater, (Hot Docs Jury Prize and Special Mentions at Los Angeles IFF and Palm Springs IFF) and K2. Touching the Sky (HBO, 2015), filmed in Karakorum, and one of the most awarded Polish mountain films in the history. Since 2008 she is a director of Vertical Vision Film Studio.
Where you can watch The Wall Of Shadows in cinemas
More dates coming soon
Let us know if we’re missing a cinema near you!
Wales One World Film Festival at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Monday 14th March, 7pm (UK preview)
Rheged, Penrith Friday 22nd & Sunday 24th April
Glasgow Film Theatre From Friday 22nd April
Depot, Lewes From Friday 22nd April
HOME, Manchester From Friday 22nd April
Phoenix Cinema, Oban From Friday 22nd April
Strode Theatre, Strode From Friday 22nd April
Alhambra Cinema, Keswick Sunday 24th & Wednesday 27th April
Buxton Opera House Tuesday 26th April
Kinoculture, Oswestry Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th April
Zeffirellis, Ambleside Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th April
Phoenix Cinema, Exeter From Friday 29th April
Showroom, Sheffield From Friday 29th April
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne From Friday 29th April
Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick Friday 29th April
Cromarty Cinema, Cromarty Friday 29th April
Eden Court Theatre and Cinema, Inverness Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May
Aberystwyth Arts Centre Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th May
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal Wednesday 4th May
The Poly, Falmouth Thursday 5th May
Plymouth Arts Cinema | Saturday 7th & Thursday 12th May
Chapter, Cardiff | Saturday 7th & Wednesday 11th May
Dundee Contemporary Arts | Monday 9th – Wednesday 11th May
Bertha Dochouse, London | From Friday 13th May
Phoenix Cinema. Leicester | Saturday 14th – Monday 16th May
Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax | Sunday 15th & Tuesday 17th May
Bertha Dochouse, London | Continued run
Genesis Cinema, London | Monday 16th May (inc. Q&A)
QUAD, Derby | Monday 16th – Thursday 19th May
Wellington Orbit, Telford | Sunday 29th & Monday 30th May
Chichester Cinema at New Park, Chichester | Sunday 29th May – Thursday 2nd June
The Dukes, Lancaster | Tuesday 31st May & Wednesday 1st June
King Street Cinema, Ipswich | Sunday 5th – Thursday 9th June
Forum Cinema, Hexham | Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th June
Barn Cinema, Dartington | Wednesday 8th June
SpArc Theatre, Bishops Castle, Shropshire | Thursday 9th June
Mareel, Lerwick, Shetland | Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th June
Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema, Penrith | Sunday 19th June
Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham | Thursday 23rd June
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