Stronger than Fiction Documentary Film FestivalShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
Stronger than Fiction, the Canberra documentary film festival, has grown because of good local support and a commitment by co-producers Simon Weaving and Deb Kingsland to seek and obtain extraordinary stories that prove that the truth, the unusual, the confronting, the energetic and the magical are stronger than any fiction. And in the hands of talented and astute documentary creatives the results are a pleasant departure from the current comic book and computer generated fantasies that meld into a mishmash of sameness.
Opening night and we were off to the Himalayas for ‘Sherpa’ directed by Canberra filmmaker Jennifer Peedom. Not quite with the need for puffy jackets, thermals and hiking boots but definitely with an open mind about the role of those who make cheque book mountaineering possible. Let’s hear it for the Sherpas – and we did - their work is essential to the climbers, delivering everything that makes for a camping and climbing experience that has gone up a few notches since Hillary and Tensing conquered Everest. The early morning hot cloths and tea just a tad too far for me, but there was worse to come.
Jennifer Peedom fortuitously found herself slap bang in the middle of a Sherpa dispute after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas on the infamous Khumbu Icefall. That it was the precursor to a change in the relationship of these mild mannered, deeply religious and respectful Sherpas to the western climbers new sense of entitlement, after 50 years of serving the needs of the climbers with little benefit from this multi -million dollar industry, is the stuff of a balanced and confronting story well told. It should be compulsory viewing for all foreigners who venture to ascend the mountain.
Stronger than Fiction continues at Palace Electric until Sunday 2 August with ‘by popular demand’ screenings to be announced on Monday 3 August. Highly recommended, The Wolfpack directed by Crystal Moselle and The Hunting Ground directed by Kirby Dick. More info at strongerthanfictiondocs.com.