Rating: M
Length: 96 mins

SHERPA is a documentary film by Australian film-maker Jennifer Peedom.

It was filmed during the 2014 Mount Everest ice avalanche. Sherpa focuses on Phurba Tashi, a Sherpa who has made 21 Mount Everest ascents and leads the team for New Zealander Russell Brice’s expedition company, Himex. Tashi’s wife and family in Khumjung do not want him to keep risking his life climbing just for the money. The film explores some of the Sherpa culture and their spiritual relationship with the mountain, as well as the heavy work and risks Sherpas take in making multiple ascents to take equipment and supplies up the mountain and make the climb possible for foreign climbers.

After the ice avalanche kills 16 Sherpas, the focus shifts to the differing perspectives and understandings of the various groups in the following days. The Sherpas stage a protest meeting and most do not want to climb – some out of respect for the dead and others in order to push for better working conditions. Brice believes a small group of Sherpas have threatened to harm any Sherpas who do continue and for this reason decides to cancel his expedition, although Tashi notes that he is unaware of any such threats. The 2014 climbing season is cancelled and the closing titles note that Tashi honoured his family’s wishes and retired. It also notes that the 2015 season was cancelled due to avalanches in the wake of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.
The film contains archival footage of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary and includes interviews with Norgay’s children.

“…this is a spectacular, intimate and politically provocative exposé of the dangers, racial tensions and harsh economic realities on the world’s highest mountain.” EMPIRE.

“An accomplished and gripping film….The tension contrasts with the beautiful location, established in a series of breathtaking time lapses.” PAYL BYRNES. SMH.

Official Trailer