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FASZINATION TODESZONE - FORSCHUNG IN 8000 METER HOEHE

JAN KERCKHOFF

Germany / 2003 / 43'

Gasherbrum II, 8,035m, in the Karakorum group, on the borders of Pakistan and China, is one of the Pakistan and China, is one of the highest mountains in the world. It is extremely cold on this giant and the air is rarefied. It is difficult to breathe and each step requires a great effort. Mountaineers have coined a phrase for this altitude: the Death Zone. Yet, in spite of this, an increasing number of mountaineers want to climb Gasherbrum II. Two of these are doctors from the Grosshadern clinic in Munich. They are not only attracted by the giant in Karakorum and by the Himalayas, they want to study and find out more about high altitude disorders. Practically everyone who ventures to these heights suffers mountain sickness. One of the most serious consequences of the illness is brain oedema; on a montain like Gasherbrum II this can be fatal. The doctors want to develop a new method in which the symptoms of brain oedema can be recognised in avance, so that mountaineers can guard against it. To test the validitty of the method, the doctors accompany an expedition to Gasherbrum II and risk death for the sake of their scientific research.

Director

JAN KERCKHOFF

He graduated with honours in Social Sciences at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Nuremberg. He worked for ZDF and Bayerischen Rundfunk at Munich, especially in the scientific editorial staff of political and social news. Journalist and professional film-maker, his filmography, rich with sociological television reports, includes: Auf dem Dach der Welt (2003), Faszination Wissen (2003), Windräder im Höhenflug (2004), Wie andere heilen: Tibetische Medizin (2004), Auf der Suche nach dem Jungbrunnen – das Geheimnis der Gene (2005), Klettern macht glücklich (2005), Wankende Riesen – der Überlebenskampf der Bäume (2006), Überleben am Berg (2007) and Gelobtes Land – trockenes Land. Israels Kampf ums Wasser (2008). He participated at TrentoFilmfestival with the film Faszination Todeszone – Forschung auf 8000 Meter Höhe (2003) in 2004.