‘A Fine Line’ Movie Review

A fine flick I recently watched! I downloaded and watched the first episode of Killian Jornet’s ‘Summits of My Life’ about a week before it premiered in Chamonix (that is in the country of France) on January 17.

All by Myself
Killian at the Chamonix Cinema. Photo credit – ‘Summits of My Life’

With Seb Montaz behind the lens, the film starts with a commotion of white coats using calipers on gauge Killian Jornet’s minute amount of flab while also attaching sensors in preparation for a VO2 Max test. They quickly crank up the pace and the incline. Mask over his mouth, Jornet motions to the doctors in some international sign language that means, “Vamos a toda maquina!” You know the signal you make when you need somebody to get a move on and hurry at a stop sign or your running partner is walking up the last part of Tiger 3 summit behind you and you are exposed and freezing.

Scene is over, he looks spent. The doctors remove the sticky white dots, and the next thing you know, Killian is running up a mountain in flawless, glaring snow. Then next, Jornet is eating breakfast before some thrilling endurance adventure. You ask, “What kind of breakfast?” You may be surprised as me by the 20-something European breakfast of an ultrarunning champion (drinking chocolate and a biscuit). Who is this young man?

Slowly over the past year or so, I have been learning about Killian’s ultrarunning exploits, although I did not really know the full extent of his legendary status in Europe as alpine skier and numerous other endurance ventures. He has won every single race he wants to win. Right, at age 25, he has crossed off every single race he has on his bucket list.

So, what to do, what to do…. Well, you know how your older acquaintances talk about “projects” that keep them busy after retirement? ‘Summits of My Life’ is Killian’s project. Maybe you agree with the Summits of My Life values statement. Me gusta numero diez:

What are we after? Might it be life?

He and his cohorts are going to chronicle the next four years of adventure and creativity of spirit as they run, climb and ski through the biggest mountains in the world. ‘A Fine Line’ is the first in this series, which is essentially an account of two Mont Blanc crossings (with some awesome training footage leading up to it), and we have a bunch more to expect: the Matterhorn, Mount Elbrus, Denali, Mount Aconcagua and Mount Everest. Tragically, you might remember last summer that Stephane Brosse, renowned alpine skier and climber, was killed during the first stage of this project. Due to this loss, Killian did not appear at the Western States 100, but several months later, Jornet went on to complete a solo traverse (shown in the movie) from Courmayeur, across Innominata Ridge on the South slope of Mont Blanc. Some would take three days to do this trek; Killian crushed it in less than 9 hours.

Overall, this movie has stunning cinematography, a compelling personal story, and great production value. FYI – The characters in the film speak Spanish, Catalan, and French, with a little English thrown in. Reading subtitles, you are at risk of missing some action on the screen, but it is still worth it. There are some great sequences from Transvulcania La Palma in 2012, including some GoPro shots from the head of the pack as Dakota Jones, Andy Symonds and Killian battled for the win. Other interesting folks appear in the film too, including Jornet’s mother and sister, and ultrarunner, Anna Frost, as well as cameos from other notable mountain characters and athletes.

For more information about Killian’s projects, including a digital download of the flick is available at http://www.summitsofmylife.com/en/. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out A Fine Line official trailer on Vimeo.

Wish me luck. “…Besa o mata. Besa la gloria o muere en el intento….”  I just started Correr o Morir, Jornet’s autobiography. No subtitles on the Kindle to help me out.

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