A lone porter makes his way through a blizzard in the High Tatras mountains of Eastern Europe. The wind roars. All is blinding white, the mountain unforgiving. We are swept into the timeless world of the porter, whose manual labor is a cross between extreme sport and walking meditation. Intrepid filmmaking brings us up close and personal, step by step. Hearty men in their 60s and 70s draw energy from the mountain as they climb, carrying loads of 120 kilos on ladder-like frame packs. Crisp archival footage places them in a lineage of dedicated climbers and caretakers who supply and maintain mountain huts. Lyric interludes feature aerial shots of rugged peaks plus a haunting score, with cello played by one of the porters. An old man is meant to walk slowly, with dignity; these porters do that and more. Their service gives them health, calm, self-reliance, solitude, and the power and beauty of nature.
In Person: Director Molly Willows (Before the Wave)