North Face (2008)

Posted: April 22, 2011 in German
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North Face


Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif – the Eiger – two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent. –IMDb


Philipp Stölzl

 Adventure | Drama | History | Sport

North Face or originally known as Nordwand is a true harsh story about Germany in the 30s as the Nazis were rising and wishing to prove to the world that they were the best. The tale is about two German men who take on a very difficult climb. The story is quite riveting, and humane. Full of laughs, tragedy, and … a little bit of a love story.

Although the movie starts a little slowly, it really picks up about one third the way in. The director did a great job at capturing the climb.The climbing scenes are remarkable- it will keep you on the edge of your seat! To see these guys climbing thousands of feet up on this face with the old equipment is incredible, and you feel like you are actually there with the amazing cinematography. The contrast between the plight of the mountain climbers and that of the rich bystanders makes the movie so much more emotionally riveting.

North Face

Not knowing any of the German actors, I can objectively say that casting is excellent. Benno Furmann portrays the reserved Toni, a level-headed leader who climbs not for fame and glory, but just because this is what he loves. Florian Lukas is the childlike, excitable, passionate Andi who understandably responds to the lure of fame and glory. Johanna Wakalek, playing Luisse, is not a beauty in a conventional way, but has such charm in her character that she will have the audience falling in love with her in no time at all. The two German climbers have a great chemistry.

Watching Andi and Toni climb in their 1936-gear is breathtaking. I was totally on the edge of my seat most of the time, and remember, I didn’t know how the story would end. The experience was amazing and I really connected with the actors and their story. This is a tragedy that must be seen. It captures humanity at its best and worst… and shows us that sometimes nature rules our lives, and that it is not forgiving.

So all in all, a must watch for the great cinematography, and the heart-melting story that those climbers went through in real life. I give it 8.5 out of 10 .


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