Mountain (2017) Movie Script

Okay, here we go then.
Yeah. No, I will be good with this.
- Okay. I'm ready.
- Right. Thank you.
To those who are enthralled by mountains.
They're wonders beyond all disputes.
To those who are not.
They are always a kind of madness.
What is this strange force that draws us upwards?
This siren song...
Of the summit.
Only three centuries ago
Setting up to climb
a mountain would
have been considered
an act of lunacy.
The idea scarcely
existed that wild
landscapes might hold
any sort of attraction.
Mountains were places of peril, not beauty.
An upper world to be shunned, not sought out.
How then have mountains now come to hold a spellbound.
Drawing us into their dominion.
Often at the cost of our lives.
Because the mountains we climb are not made only of rock and ice
But also dreams...
And desire.
The mountains we climb
Are mountains of the mind.
To humans high
mountains were once
considered the home
of either the holy
Or the hostile.
There was nothing in between.
Around to be revered from below but never entered.
Go around mountains
if necessary,
along their flanks
but not up them.
For only gods and monsters dwelt at heights.
The upper world was
a sacred landscape
to which we directed
our devotion
And our rituals of awe.
But always from the safe distance.
Daily life brought ample hardship and danger.
There was no need to seek out more.
Gradually though the dragons and
divinities were put to flight and
our feelings toward mountains
underwent an astonishing change.
Fascination replaced trepidation.
Adventure replaced reverence.
As cities grew and we insulated ourselves away from nature
The mountains called us back.
The magic of mountains strengthened
Their fierce beauty,
Their power to enchant,
Their challenge
We went in search
of places that were
intimidating and uncontrollable.
That inspired in us the heady blend of pleasure and terror.
Which we came to call the sublime.
This search for the sublime do us outwards and upwards.
The great peeks of
the world begin to
exert a force upon
the imagination.
A siren song that was easy to hear.
Hard to resist.
And sometimes... fatal.
But legends of death
in high places spread
the spell of the
mountains wider still.
Slowly the blank spaces on the maps were filled in.
The imperial aim was to grid, girdle and name the upper world.
To bring it and
it's peoples within
the realm of the
known and the owned.
To replace mystery - with mastery.
And the greatest mystery of them all...
And so began the campaign to vanquish it.
Everest was placed under siege.
Until at last it succumbed.
This was the moment
that mountaineering as
adventure entered the
popular imagination.
Our fascination became an obsession.
Now our need for mountains runs deep and wide.
For most of us exist for
most of the time in
environments that are humanly
arranged and controlled.
But mountains are wild and ungovernable.
This is the source of their danger
And also the source of their allure.
And so a longing for the unknown that cans us onwards
Like echos cave
The unknown will answer back with whatever you call into it.
To travel to the high peaks is to cross a threshold
Into a space where time warps...
And bends.
And sensations are thrillingly amplified.
Stone and ice though
are far less gentle to
the hand's touch than
to the mind's eye.
The mountains of the
Earth have often
turned out to be more resistant,
More fatally real
Than the mountains we imagine.
These are matters of hard sharp rock and driving ice.
A bone deep cold.
Nothing ideal.
Injury and nausea.
Fizzing fear.
Of stomach turning vertigo.
But... They're also places of unspeakable beauty.
And so the peaks summon us still.
Sharpening our sense of being.
Setting life on a knife edge.
For danger can hold terrible joys.
Dreadful splendors.
Today mountains are
considered among
nature's most
exquisite features.
No longer due to
their chaotic forms
upsetting the spirit
level of our minds.
Now we migrate to them
in our millions each
year pursuing our
strange pilgrimages.
A very modern mountain worship has taken hold.
A worship that requires the modification of the mountains.
And the management of their risks.
And in doing so
We have come to forget something of their power.
What odd devotions we undertake.
What curious performances we put on.
With the mountains as our theater.
To certain people the call to adventure is irresistible.
As everyday life has become safer and more comfortable for some.
We've begun to seek out danger elsewhere.
We court danger.
We pay for it.
Risk has become its own reward.
At height you can be taken right to the brink.
For you never feel
so alive knowing
that at any minute...
You could die.
So up to the mountains we go in headlong pursuit of peril.
Or a testing ground on which the self can best be illuminated.
Today's adventurers are
driven by the lust to
reach somewhere no-one
has reached before.
And to do something no-one has done before.
Our wish to be first induces in us forms of insanity.
And forms of grace.
Adventurers sometimes liken fear to a rat.
When you take risks you feed the rat with fear.
But each time you feed that fear it grows fatter.
So then you must feed it more fear to sate it.
And yet more again and then still more.
Until a madness bites.
How has it come to this?
The mountains as a stage
set for a pumped-up
poker game of high
stakes and high returns.
All driven by big brands and online views.
Many who traveled among the tops are half in love with themselves
And half in love with oblivion.
Today's mountain mania culminates on Everest.
Where the wish to test one's limits
Or to battle one's
demons draws thousands
of people to the peak each year.
Attempting Everest
offers a way for the
ordinary person to be
briefly extraordinary.
But the nature of the challenge has in many ways changed.
This isn't climbing anymore.
It's queuing.
This isn't exploration.
It's crowd control.
This is the modern industry of ascent.
In which the risks are often taken most by those who have least.
But mountains exceed our command.
They slip our grip.
And there is no glory for those who are left behind.
Mountains are so much
more than a challenge...
Or an adversary to be overcome.
For mountains humble the human instinct.
And reveal our insignificance.
They live in deep time. In a way that we do not.
Behind and beyond the
mountains stretch
eons too fast for
us to comprehend.
They were here long before we were even dreamed of.
They watched us arrive.
They will watch us leave.
Born of fire.
Born of force.
Mountains move.
Over epochs they rise and fall.
This is the symphony of the Earth.
A rhythm of uplift and
erosion that makes
not waves of water...
But waves of stone.
And from these waves of stone flows life.
Being in the mountains can
ignite our astonishment
at the simplest transactions
of the living world.
Anyone who has been among mountains knows their indifference.
Has felt a brief blazing sense of the world's disinterest in us.
In small measures...
This feeling exhilarates.
In full form... It annihilates.
Coming back to Earth from the high peaks
You can feel like a stranger.
Bearing experiences
that are beyond
expression... And beyond price.
Time has flown over you but left a shadow behind.
Mountains don't seek our love...
Or seek our deaths.
They want nothing from us.
And yet... They shift the way we see ourselves.
They weather our spirits.
Challenge our arrogance.
Restore our wonder.
More than ever...
We need their wildness.