Home » Review “The Summit of the Gods”: In the (Mountain) Heights

Review “The Summit of the Gods”: In the (Mountain) Heights

by Stewart Cole

The animations take viewers where cinematic cameras do not travel easily – to the upper limits of the world’s highest mountains – to “The Synod of the Gods “ a French-language adaptation of a Japanese manga.

The object that sets the plot in motion is, aptly, a camera: In a bar in Kathmandu, a photojournalist named Fukamachi (voiced by Damien Boisseau) is approached by an unknown person willing to sell him what he claims was George’s camera. Mallory. Everest in 1924. Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irwin, did not survive, but whatever images they took may answer the question of whether they reached the top. When Fukamachi then sees an isolated Japanese climber, Habu (voiced by ηλικric Herson Macarel and Lazare Herson Macarel) grabbing the Vest Pocket Kodak, he suspects the device may be legal.

Using a slightly “Citizen Kane-like” structure approach, the first half of the film alternates between Fukamachi’s investigations into Habu’s disappearance and Habu’s flashbacks, with the camera content acting as the functional equivalent. of Rosebud. Patrick Imbert, making his feature film debut, works with a simple line and movement and a subdued color palette that seems to owe more to some anime artists than to the embossed illustrations of the original manga. Imbert is said to have been inspired, among others, by “Grave of the Fireflies” director Isao Takahata.

The present action of this timeless film is discreetly placed several years before the untold real discovery of Mallory’s body, without a camera, in 1999. In limited terms – capturing the physical nature of mountaineering in the ethereal animation medium – “The Summit of the Gods “is typical.

The Synod of the Gods
PG rating. In French, with subtitles. Performance duration: 1 hour 35 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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