Watched The Ghosts Above

Watched The Ghosts Above | Renan Ozturk | Sony Alpha Films by Renan Ozturk from YouTube

In “The Ghosts Above,” Sony Artisan photographer and filmmaker Renan Ozturk join an expedition to solve the Mount Everest mystery of who reached the summit first.

A really brutal expedition. You read about the gruesome open graveyard that is Everest but it’s not often shown. It looks wrenching. Using bodies as back rests. So tired you can’t care. Their exhaustion is so apparent, I wonder how they felt editing the footage and seeing how badly they were doing. They struggle to put together sentences. They arrive at Camp III too tired to set up tents and decide to sleep in abandoned, half broken tents. It’s horrifying as a viewer to watch their mental capacity erode, for everything to go but their resolve. This is how you get people who just sit down and die on the way to the top, or the way back down. Frankly I’m glad not to be someone with that kind of drive, someone willing to turn back without reaching the end because getting home again is always the most important to me.

This documentary centers on Ozturk’s experience on the expedition, and they also made a longer one for National Geographic I haven’t watched yet. He speaks bluntly about how he wishes to respect the Sherpa people but acknowledges he’s a colonizer. I was impressed with how he handled himself and some decisions he made.

I’ve always been captivated by the mystery of whether Mallory and Irvine made it, so I had to watch this.


Watched Banff Film Festival 2019 World Tour

Watched Banff Film Festival from

Blue track including:

  • Charge – 4 min – people having a hoot skiing
  • Bayandalai – Lord of the Taiga – 11 min – spiritual BS from a Mongolian herder
  • The Imaginary Line – 10 min – fun weekend masquerading as meaningful protest
  • Deer 139 – 44 min – ridiculous hijinks from lady scientists backpacking along the path of a radio collared deer – good soundtrack
  • Billder – 6 min – Canadian dude self finances building mountain bike trails on Vancouver Island by firefighting – could have been longer, enjoyed it but wanted a bit more
  • HUNZA ski and culture in Pakistan – 33 min – three French skiers climb remote mountains all over the Hunza valley and ski down them – had 5 min talking with the first recognized Pakistani climber, maybe shoulda made it more about him
  • Circle of the Sun – 5 min – woman surfs and skis in the midnight sun – bad poetry – needed more time for message to come through
  • REEL ROCK 13: Up To Speed – 20 min – entertaining documentary about speed climbing, a new Olympic sport – of course the Russians are hardcore into it

There’s something about the homemade films that has an extra charm and reality. They’re put together by a handful of friends, by appearances, and honor simple experiences and good people.

Unfortunately the film fest doesn’t work on smart TVs so we spent like half an hour connecting a series of cables trying to get it to play from a laptop.