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By Doug Brunell | October 7, 2010

“Nordwand,” known as “North Face” in America, is one hell of a film. It is based on the true story of what happened to a group of mountain climbers who tried to conquer the most dangerous rock face in the Alps in 1936. Known as the “Murder Wall,” the climber’s beast is the North Face of Eiger, which is a tourist attraction, siren song, and a goal of Nazi Germany, which would like to prove its might to the world before the Olympics. When a young journalist named Luise (Johanna Wokalek) approaches two childhood friends, Andi (Florian Lukas) and Toni (Benno Fürmann) to tackle the mountain as a propaganda stunt they initially decline her request. Common sense is soon tossed to the wind, however, and the men find themselves in competition with two others to see who can reach the summit first.

Things do not go as planned.

I am no expert on mountain climbing films. That said, I think I can safely say this may be the best one you will ever see. Intense, brutal and gripping – there is little other way to describe it. The fact that this is based on a true story makes it even more compelling. Everything these men went up against only served to destroy them, and if that doesn’t cause you some panic while watching this I don’t know what will.

Rent this, and then take a few moments to breathe. You will need it.

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