Freedom Under Load
  • Before the Wave
Rafael 3Thu, May 11 7:00 PM Not Available
Sequoia 2Sun, May 14 2:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Section:The Great Outdoors
Running Time:58 min.
Premiere Status:US
Director:Pavol Barabáš
Producer:Alena Koscova
Screenwriter:Pavol Barabáš
Cinematographer:Pavol Barabáš
Editor:Róbert Karovic
Note Writer:Carol Harada

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)

Included Shorts
Before the Wave (24min) More
Additional Information

Pavol Barabáš is the director of large-scale, mountain-oriented adventure films about survival in extreme conditions. His films are shot in inaccessible wilderness areas, on wild rivers, on glacial peaks, and in deep caves far from civilization, featuring heroes that go beyond their limits. His films have been awarded more than 200 national and international prizes, including the prestigious Crystal Wing Award and the Award of the Union of Slovak TV Programme Producers and Literary Fund for his long-term contribution to environmentally-oriented audiovisual productions.