It is one of the toughest races in ski mountaineering: the Patrouille des Glaciers. For a year and a half, Frédéric Favre accompanied three participants. The result is an intimate glimpse into an adventure that changes life.
An article by Jeannine Zubler
The director accompanies three very different racers. From very different perspectives one gets insight into the preparations for the PdG. Antoine, a young man who has found his way into the sport and now takes responsibility for his life and his team. Professional athlete Guillaume leaves nothing to chance. Florence feels like she loves the mountains because she can be close to her father. All three have to find their place in their teams and they have to deal with the fact that they can only reach the finish line as a team. It's all about the people and their stories behind the athletes.
The focus is on interpersonal relationships
Preparations demand many sacrifices from athletes and physical training. As a result, the sporty part often takes a back seat. The protagonists have to master new challenges, to fit into a team. It's about interpersonal relationships, they have to be considerate and to deal with the weaknesses of their team members and their own. The protagonists have to set priorities and make basic decisions. Some things have to be left behind, with all the consequences.
Spectators are close up
Through very intimate scenes, Frédéric manages to create an incredible closeness to the protagonists. You almost get the feeling that you know them personally. He accompanies the protagonists at one o'clock in the morning when they get up for a mountain tour, in the weight room, in a team crisis, in personal conversations with friends, Florence at her father's grave. The Patrouille des Glaciers comes almost at the end. Beautiful shots from very different perspectives of all sections of the track let the spectators feel the pulse of the race. You really suffer with the protagonists.
From melancholy to joy
But the film doesn't end with the race. You learn about all three from life after the Patrouille de Glacier. It is exciting to see the development they went through during the preparation and participation. This gives the film a coherent conclusion. Only the music is a bit melodramatic, the choir chants partly convey a picture that is too melancholy. In addition to the effort and challenges, the protagonists also enjoy the Patrouille des Glaciers project.
The film is almost a must for anyone who succumbed to the fascination Patrol of the Glacier. But also for those who like to travel in the mountains. For everyone else, it's a beautiful film about the development of three people crossing borders, experiencing personal growth and team spirit and friendships. The scenery is breathtaking, the director has not saved with sunrises on the mountain.
Premiere of the film is on 16. November 2017 at the Cine Club Bern. More information can be found on www.encordes.com.
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Frédéric Favre
Performers: Florence Beffa, Guillaume Clavien, Antoine Willberg
Production: Lomotion AG
Production country: Switzerland
Year of production: 2017
Shooting time July 2014 until June 2016
about the author
Jeannine Zubler is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She spends every free minute in the mountains and when climbing. She writes about everything that happens in the vertical. www.jeanninezubler.com
Credits: text Jeannine Zubler