Meru (2015)

  • Rating:R (for language)
  • Genre:Documentary
  • Directed By:Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
  • In Theaters:Aug 14, 2015  Limited
  • On Disc/Streaming:Nov 17, 2015
  • Runtime:87 minutes
  • Studio:Music Box Films

Meru is a 2015 documentary film chronicling the first ascent of the “Shark’s Fin” route on Meru Peak in the Indian Himalayas. It was co-directed by married couple Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and won the U.S. Audience Documentary Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

After attempting but failing to summit Meru in 2008, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk return to the mountain in order to conquer its peak – a 4,000 foot wall known as the “Shark’s Fin”. As they climb, the men also document their ascent. “You know, I’m always a climber first,” said Chin on balancing climbing with filmmaking. “I’m always thinking about the safety of myself and the team. And I make that evaluation before I take the camera out.”The film is a mixture of footage that chronicles both attempts (the failed 2008 and the successful 2011) while crafting a narrative about the climbers’ attempts to face their demons. After suffering a horrific accident while filming on location with Chin, Ozturk has a mere five months to recover before their second attempt, battling near-fatal injuries. Four days after Ozturk’s accident, Chin returns to the filming location to finish but is caught in a catastrophic avalanche that he miraculously survives with barely a scratch. Anker wrestles with bringing his mentor’s dream to fruition and the loss of both him and his climbing partner many years ago. During the successful 2011 summit, Chin and Ozturk shared a Canon 5D Mark II and a Panasonic TM900 camcorder to capture footage that would be used in the film.