The sheer rock faces of California and Patagonia are the setting of To the Limit, a documentary that tells the story of two brothers looking to break the speed record for climbing one of America's most iconic mountain formations. Written and directed by Pepe Danquart, this film also named Am Limit is in German with English subtitles. And like both the gravity defying efforts of the climbers and the scenery they inhabit, its photography is acclaimed as breathtaking.
Here is the movie's official synopsis:
Thomas and Alexander Huber, risk takers in the extreme, rank as two of the best mountain climbers of our time. Now the two Huber brothers have set out to break the record in speed climbing at the wall of all walls, the 1,000 foot vertical "Nose" of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California.
Featuring breathtaking footage of the mountains of Patagonia and Yosemite National Park, Academy Award winner Pepe Danquart follows the Huber brothers to locations never before reached by a film crew. To the Limit is a portrait of two competitive brothers who go to the very edge of the possible, physically and psychologically. These brothers, who ordinarily live very different and separate lives, become like twins when they climb together, as they have since childhood, each driven to search for his own limits.
The film rounds out a trilogy of sporting documentaries created by Danquart over the last decade, the first being (or Höllentour) in 2004 about competitors in the Tour de France. He also won the 1993 Oscar for Live Action Short Film for from 1989 about extreme sports, including rock climbing.
Danquart's To the Limit was described in a review by Variety as "nimbly balanced with insights into the appeal of this death-defying pursuit and gradual revelations about the siblings' intense professional rivalry." Quotes from several other reviews in German publications have also been collected by the film's U.S. distributor First Run Features.
Debuting in Germany last year, To the Limit is screening at numerous fests across the U.S. this winter and spring, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco, the European Union Film Festival in Chicago, the Sarasota Film Festival, and the Berkshire Film Festival in western Massachusetts. A stop in Madison for the Wisconsin Film Festival comes in the midst of this run across the country.
The trailer for To the Limit follows.