Home » ‘Torn’ Review: A Climber’s Son Explores His Father’s Legacy

‘Torn’ Review: A Climber’s Son Explores His Father’s Legacy

by Stewart Cole

In “Torn”, a brutally familiar documentary about the life and tragic death of climber Alex Lowe, directed by his son, Max, does not emphasize the many impressive feats of the world-famous climber at the top or even the psychology behind what he did pushes the body and its endurance to their limits. Instead, the film focuses on those who knew Lowe best – or, in the case of his three children, those who barely got to know him at all.

It’s a sharp shift from “Free Solo,” one of National Geographic’s previous (and much-acclaimed) documentaries about a climber who created a character study around Alex Honnold’s exciting free solo ascent to El Capitan. Max Lowe, who was just 10 years old when his father was killed in an avalanche in Tibet, aligns his work closer to “Stories We Tell”, exploring Sarah Polley’s own family history in 2013 with so much emphasis on discovery of the truth. the truth itself.

Although there are no real secrets to be revealed about Alex Lowe’s motivations for climbing, nor his infectiously exuberant personality in life – which, as appears in the many archives Cass has access to, could occasionally cause frustration to those around him – the film inevitably feels confessional and laxative. The director’s conversations with his mother, Jennifer. his younger brothers, Sam and Isaac. and his father, Conrad Anker, who was once Alex Lowe’s most trusted mountaineering companion, cross the line between interview and healing cycle, trying to reconcile the real, mortal Alex with the Superman they saw and the general public. Learning not only to see, but also to embrace that humanity is the central thread of the “Torn”, which, with its quiet ending, has shown how much unexpected bonds can be created around those who mourn.

It is not graded. Performance duration: 1 hour 32 minutes. In theaters.

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