Film Reviews

Vandana describes her experience watching the new documentary, ‘Mountain’ shown in concert as a collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and filmmaker Jennifer Peedom.

I’ve loved the ACO for more than 20 years and every year subscribe to their concerts. Bold, brilliant and innovative they’ve been fairly described as the world’s finest chamber orchestra. Their latest concert has left me still flying, in a kind of ‘exalted state’, several days later.

Mountain movie posterWhile the phenomenal cinematography, footage shot in deep high mountain ranges around the world including Tibet, is accurately described as breathtaking, this is not merely a documentary about mountaineering.

It is about the attraction of humans towards transcending limitations and fear. The yearning to soar beyond the restrictions of the mind. It is confronting, unnerving and utterly exhilarating.

As sannyasins we know it takes a master to pull the rug from under our clay feet and catapult us skywards. I am no mountaineer yet when I took sannyas some forty years ago, someone asked, “Do you really have to go that far?” I was terrified and had to go that far.

Mountain has reminded me of that fire, that terror, that wildness.

The narrator of the documentary describes people who seek out dangerous mountain experiences as “half in love with themselves, half in love with oblivion.”

And the attraction of feeling so intensely alive, “knowing at any moment you can die.”

Playing the Mountain CD while driving my car (probably dangerous), I’m gasping, eyes brimming… the music is extraordinary. Brilliant original compositions mixed with Vivaldi, Grieg and Beethoven. This is the ultimate meditation music, please play it at max volume on my deathbed, should I score such a departure.

Mountain, narrated by William Dafoe, is currently touring Australia as a live concert and will be released in cinemas worldwide in September 2017.

VandanaVandana is a regular contributor

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