The rawness of depression is examined in this downer of a film, a Polish entry in the “Shorts Program: Face the Music” at the 2014 AFI DOCS festival. Bartlomiej Swiderski intermingles gloriously majestic footage footage of overwhelming mountains climbed by the ever adventurous Piotr Morawski with that of tear-filled interviews with his distraught widow, a still-in-mourning Olga. He died in April 2009 while climbing in the Himalayas.
She talks of sati, a ritual in India and Nepal, where a living wife would be burned with the body of her dead husband. “The idea really appealed to me,” says the widow, not blinking an eye, to the cameraman. She is lost without her husband. Her loneliness is unbearable. Life is pointless.
Olga, shown only in half-shadowy interiors, is seated on a drab looking couch in a nondescript room. Often stopping, briefly, to collect her thoughts, Olga slowly unleashes her grief. The Himalayas, enveloped in clouds and with menacing wind-blown sound effects, cut through her dry soliloquy. Piotr, shown in the climb, is focused, fearless, and alive in the earth’s back yard.
Slowly we get the facts, of Piotr’s journey to Annapurna, where he traveled with his friend Pusty, while Olga, home in Poland, was pregnant with their son.
Immortality is a myth.