Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Werner Herzog's cinema of obsession (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo) has always owed some of its emotional expressionism to the post-World War I genre of German mountain films (The Blue Light, The White Hell of Pitz-Palu), in which German mountain climbers are compelled to scale the heights of dangerous mountain peaks, achieving a form of purification and superiority. It was inevitable that at some point Herzog would tackle a mountain. Finally, with Cerro Torre: Schrei Aus Stein, he does. Donald Sutherland stars as Ivan, a journalist who instigates a rivalry between Roccia (Vittorio Mezzogiorno), a professional mountain climber who has braved the highest mountain peaks in the world, and Martin (Stefan Glowacz), a champion athlete of indoor climbing walls. But Roccia doesn't need a reporter to fuel a rivalry between the two, since Katharina (Mathilda May), Roccia's lover, is attracted to Martin. Ivan arranges for a TV special chronicling the efforts of Roccia, Martin, Katharina, and Ivan to conquer the peak of the unconquered Cerro Torre granite tower in Chile. Roccia keeps postponing the climb until finally Martin heads off to climb Cerro Torre by himself, accompanied only by a television crew. But the result of that journey causes Roccia to avoid the press, while Martin is greeted with skepticism. This unhappy response to their initial attempt causes Ivan, Roccia, Martin, and Katharina to confront the formidable peak again for a final confrontation with the silent mountain.
jealousy, journalism, love, love-triangle, mountain-climbing, rival, romance, sports