Meru (2015) — India
Everyone who had tried to climb the "Shark's Fin" on the Himalayan Mt. Meru over the past thirty years had failed, including the three elite climbers who are the subject of this adventure documentary — Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. In 2003 they turned back just one hundred meters from the summit, due largely to a storm that idled them on the mountain cliff for four days. The technical difficulty of the Shark's Fin, the harsh conditions, the lack of any sherpa help for their 200 pounds of gear, and the inner demons of their back stories make for a good movie. They also make for melodrama, spurred on by a breathless cheerleader in Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air). Although we admire these men for their exploits, like most extremists with a narrow obsession, they look and sound like one-dimensional people who are not very interesting. This film won the "Audience Award" at the Sundance Festival. The scenery alone makes it worth watching.