In his quest to understand what motivates humans to surpass themselves, Werner Herzog accompanies two legendary climbers for a dual ascent in the Himalayas. The aim of Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander’s expedition is to climb both Gasherbrum I and II, two peaks measuring more than 8,000 metres. At the base camp, Herzog questions them to better understand their motivations. The danger of the mountain is at the heart of their discussion and the possible confrontation with death clearly considered. Then the climb will be filmed by the two men thanks to a small 8mm camera, enabling the audience to be at each stage of the adventure, in its instantaneousness. Thus, as close as possible to these climbers and their challenge in the face of the immensity and the forces of nature, Herzog, always present as narrator-director, wonders: “Are these peaks and mountains not a quality buried deep within us?” In this way, he explains, perhaps, what he is seeking for himself, in these parts, as in the majority of his films: a determination to always go forward, pushing the boundaries of the possible to their limit.
(Werner Herzog Filmproduktion)