The Eight Mountains – Le Otto Montagne (12A)
Fri 26 May 2023 - Thu 01 Jun 2023
£8* Standard | £5* Student / Under 25s | £5* tickets for ICAE members on Sun 28th May
Various (See dates below)
Dir. Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch
2023 | 147 mins | Italy, Belgium, France, UK
Italian, English, Nepali with English subtitles
Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Lupo Barbiero
Co-winner of this year’s Cannes Jury Prize, The Eight Mountains is a gorgeous, sweeping story about the friendship between two young men. Adapted from the 2016 novel by Italian author Paolo Cognetti, it’s set in the pristine, cathedral-like Alpine valley of Aosta, including the slopes of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn – though the ‘eight mountains’ of the title refers instead to the peaks of Nepal: a symbol of overarching ambition and conquest.
On holiday with his family in the mid-1980s, 12-year-old Pietro befriends local boy Bruno, and they spend an unforgettable summer together in the valley. But when Pietro’s father suggests that Bruno should return to Milan with them to study, he inadvertently drives a wedge between the boys. In adulthood, Pietro returns to the village and to Bruno, and together they embark on a project that may help them bridge the lingering emotional crevasse.
In adapting Cognetti’s bestseller, Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Beautiful Boy) have created a rich and suitably novelistic world, full of details slowly accrued in a way that mimics the ancient glacial landscapes of its setting. Featuring breathtaking cinematography by Ruben Impens, The Eight Mountains is a real achievement, a quiet, subtle and compelling study of an intense and transformative friendship and a look at how nature enters the soul.
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