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North Face (3 stars)

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In the summer of 1936 a group of climbers attempt the most taxing climb in the Alps, the north face of the Eiger. For some it is a personal effort; for other staunch nationalists it is a nod towards Nazi supremacy. Based on a true story, Philipp Stölzl’s film is never better than when showing how much luck is involved in a climb that is so reliant on the weather. As Bavarian soldiers Toni Kurz (Benno Fürmann) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas) ascend, the films screenwriters Christoph Silber and Stölzl have them ruminating on ideas of personal will, Nazi ideology and the nature that pays little heed to either. Much of the cutaway action is less interesting however, and the budding journalist in love with Toni and the newspaper editor are stock. Good extras include documentaries about the Eiger and cast and crew interviews.

(12A) 116min (Metrodome Blu-ray/DVD rental/retail)

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