Polish Mountaineering Doc Wins Grand Prix in Korea
small, Polish Mountaineering Doc Wins Grand Prix in Korea, Still from the film Jurek directed by Paweł Wysoczański, photo: promo materials from the distributor Silesia Film., jurek_1.jpg
A documentary by Paweł Wysoczański dedicated to mountaineer Jerzy Kukuczka received the Grand Prix at the Ulju Mountain Film Festival in South Korea.
In justifying their decision, the jury wrote that Paweł Wysoczański’s film ‘is a deeply moving picture exploring the depth and complexity of the character of one of the greatest Alpinists in the world’ and an ‘incredible record of the Golden Age of Polish Alpinism.’
It is worth mentioning that the head of the jury of the Korean event was Bernadette McDonald, author of the book Freedom Climbers, dedicated to the subject of the Polish Himalayan mountaineers who were the main representatives of their discipline in the 80s.
Jurek tells the story of Jerzy Kukuczka, one of the most famous Polish Himalayan mountaineers. He was the second person in the world to climb the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram – all fourteen peaks over 8000 metres above sea level. He died on 24th October 1989 on an expedition to Lhotse.
The documentary by Paweł Wysoczański, however, does not concentrate on the mystery of the Himalayan mountaineer's death. It shows a person who climbs up, higher and higher – literally, but also metaphorically and symbolically. From a bootblack to a millionaire, from a socialist worker to an international media star, from a man who climbs without any money and equipment to the real competitor of Reinhold Messner in the competition to climb the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram. Conversations with family and friends, archival materials, photographs, recordings, excerpts from TV programmes, and interviews create a portrait of the society of Himalayan mountaineers in the 80s. It’s also a portrayal of the times in which they lived – tough and colourful at the same time, when idealism was more valuable than fame. – states the Polish Docs website.
In February 2015 Jurek by Paweł Wysoczański was awarded with the Grand Prix at the 18th Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.
Ulju Mountain Film Festival is the first and, so far, the only mountain film festival in South Korea. It’s also a chance for people dedicated to both cinematography and mountaineering to meet.
Ulju Mountain Film Festival in South Korea
polish documentary film
Sources: Polish Filmmakers Association, PolishDocs, own information. ed. by BS.