In June 1970 the Messner brothers reached the summit of Nanga Parbat, after an exhausting ascent up the Rupal slope. Once there Günther, then 23 years old, was affected by the symptoms of acute mountain sickness and said that he did not feel up to the descent along the same route. So the 26-year-old Reinhold headed the traverse down the easier Diamir slope. During the descent his younger brother disappeared, probably swept away by an avalanche. Reinhold looked for him, without success, and in the end made the descent on his own, only reappearing at base camp after six days, with serious frostbite to his feet. He was subsequently unjustly accused of having sacrificed his brother in order to reach the summit. Forty years later, the film recalls the most significant moments in the dramatic affair. After the extraordinary success obtained by the original version at the 58th TrentoFilmfestival, this year it will be shown in the new 3D version.
Joseph Vilsmaier was born in Munich in 1939. From 1953 to 1961, he worked at Arnold & Richter; at the same time he studied music at the Munich Conservatory, graduating in the piano. In 1961, he started work as a photography assistant at Bavaria Film. In 1988, Vilsmaier founded a production company, Perathon Film, debuting with the film Herbstmich. He has won the Bavarian Film Prize three times. In 1996, he won the City of Trento Grand Prize, the Golden Gentian, with the film Schlafes Bruder. His most recent productions include Leo und Claire (2001) and Drei Engel für Dr. No (2001).