North Face (image 1)

You wince at the woolen mitts and heavy antique ropes... an almost unendurably tense watch.

James Christopher, The Times

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

North Face 2008

Nordwand

Directed by Philipp Stölzl

“A mountaineering adventure more tense, more edge-of-the-seat suspenseful, than Touching the Void? Almost incredibly, this German drama, based on a true story [the Eiger, 1936], is that film.” — The Independent

Austria / Germany / Switzerland In German with English subtitles
121 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope

Director

Producers

Danny Krausz
,
Boris Schönfelder
,
Rudolf Santschi
,
Benjamin Herrmann

Screenplay

Christoph Silber
,
Rupert Henning
,
Philipp Stölzl
,
Johannes Naber. Based on a script by Benedikt Röskau

Photography

Kolja Brandt

Editor

Sven Budelmann

Production designer

Udo Kramer

Sound

Heinz Ebner

Music

Christian Kolonovits

With

Benno Fürmann (Toni Kurz)
,
Johanna Wokalek (Luise Fellner)
,
Florian Lukas (Andi Hinterstoisser)
,
Simon Schwarz (Willy Angerer)
,
Georg Friedrich (Edi Rainer)
,
Ulrich Tukur (Henry Arau)
,
Erwin Steinhauer (Emil Landauer)
,
Petra Morzé (Elisabeth Landauer)
,
Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart (Hans Schlunegger)
,
Branko Samarovski (Albert von Allmen)

Festivals

Locarno, Pusan 2008

Elsewhere

“A mountaineering adventure more tense, more edge-of-the-seat suspenseful, than Touching the Void? Almost incredibly, this German drama, based on a true story, is that film. Benno Fürmann and Florian Lukas play a pair of ace climbers who in July 1936, amid the rabble-rousing propaganda of the Nazis, attempt to scale the north face of the Eiger, otherwise known as the ‘murder wall'... Writer-director Philipp Stölzl evokes a keen sense of period in setting up the story, but once it switches to the mountain face, with avalanches and bitter weather looming ominously, the film becomes as taut as a holding rope.” — Anthony Quinn, The Independent

“A viscerally effective portrayal of man against nature... Brilliantly shot, utterly convincing footage of young men inching up a vertical rock face proves nerve-racking and a worthy tribute to the true-life bravery of 1930s climbers. It's gripping and fascinating in equal measure.” — Trevor Johnson, Film4.com