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Touch The Top Of The World

A movie directed by Peter Winther

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Touch the Top of the World - 2006

  • Mar 25, 2010
Pros: inspiring, good work by Facinelli, cinematography

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"Is there anybody out there?
That can see what a man can change?"
~All-American Rejects

After reading the book Touch the Top of the World, by Erik Weihenmayer I was excited to watch the reenactment featured in the movie by the same name. Directed by Peter Winther and the screenplay adapted from Erik’s book by Peter Silverman it was a highly inspirational movie/semi-documentary to view. It carries no IMDB rating, was nominated for no awards.

I liked the way they went into the past of Weihenmayer as we watch his vision slowly disintegrate until he is fully blind as a young teen. At the same time as his blindness finally overtook him, his mother was killed in an automobile accident. Very heady stuff for a young boy to overcome.

Some have remarked they thought this background information may have been a bit sappy and unnecessary but in my own opinion it helped us realize the determination and chutzpa this young man possessed. We also watched him tentatively take his first climbing experiences until he makes the big decision to tackle Everest.

Everest is a daunting task for the sighted. I can’t imagine the perils the group undertook taking Erik along. Or, perhaps, he took them along. Irregardless, over half the movie deals with the actual climb and summit, a truly inspiring accomplishment.

What makes this movie a cut above others of its kind is the fact that we often view things through Erik’s eyes when he was a child. By the time he makes the Everest ascent his vision is restricted to light and dark, wavy or blurred lines, and vague outlines of figures. We see these images the same way he does. His perilous crossing over the crevasses had me holding my breath as he was urged on by his fellow climbers.

Peter Facinelli took on the role of Erik. How he adapted himself to the non-seeing world is not disclosed but you never doubted he was sightless while viewing the film. He adapts the mannerisms with a keen dexterity and confidence, much like Erik was in real life. His own humble persona gives a feeling of love and dedication to the character he is portraying in the film.

The climb was not the actual Everest summit, although I am sure they documented that occasion on film. This filming was done in Alberta, Canada, but was every bit as believable as the regal Everest.

Erik has gone on to a very successful career as a speaker but his past has covered many arenas. This is a beautiful film with well done cinematography by Attila Szalay. Facinelli gave a highly creditable performance to a story that defies reason and logic.


This is my submission to the captainD Good Movies Write-Off 3


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


This exciting, life-affirming drama tells the life story of Eric Weihenmayer (TWILIGHT?s Peter Facinelli), the rock climber who became the first blind person to stand at the peak of Mount Everest. Based on the real-life Weihenmayer?s best-selling autobiography, TOUCH follows the man from the diagnosis of his rare eye disease at age three to his unbelievably triumphant moment, an achievement that has already gone down in history.
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Director: Peter Winther
Release Date: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (February 17, 2009)
Runtime: 1hr 29min
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