Mountain Film Festival Tour 2016—Cinema Odeon

By Julia Mannino (Syracuse University)

This week Cinema Odeon in Florence hosted the showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2016, which is sponsored by Enervit–Power Time nutrition. The Banff Centre, an art school in Alberta, created The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour so that climbers, boarders, skiers, and surfers alike would have the chance to view an incredible documentary on the lives of others just like themselves—those who share the love of the mountains.

Although the film covers a series of cities all over the world where real people travel to do the things they love, there were a few highlights that I find important to note. For example, for one group of men, Japan was their ideal, in fact dream, place to be skiing. The group of men had been Americans, and they claimed to believe that being in this foreign land doing the thing they love most was a really rare thing, and that they were appreciative of all the new experiences. They shared tales of befriending the local ski instructor at their favorite mountain, and how this leap away from the typical destination has changed them for the better.

Similarly, the documentary thoroughly discusses free climbing, with a special regard to one girl’s story. She had been rock climbing/free climbing, etc. for years now, and it became her passion. What this film covers is her hard work and ultimate goal: to free climb El Cap, of Yosemite National Park in California. Over the course of thirty minutes, myself and the rest of the audience watched as her highlights of five days spent climbing were displayed. It was remarkable, as it allowed me to think about pushing myself to my own limits as well, which was really unexpected. At the start of her climb she explicitly admitted to her nerves and fears, although confidently stated, “I have to go try.” This set the stage for the rest of the film, as each and every person seemed to have the same mindset: It’s worth a shot.

The film introduces running on mountains as a healing mechanism; surfing on mountain rivers as a favorite pastime; and even traveling all the way to the North Pole to ski on that white powder—in the midst of an eclipse. I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary because it told me real stories about real people and their passions. They all happened to revolve around the ideology of mountains being a “happy place,” however, even if not relatable, still incredibly interesting. I would recommend this to anyone, but especially to young people. No matter what your passion may be, each of these subjects seemed to agree that there’s something intoxicating about doing what you love.

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