Run time: 147 mins
Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch’s gorgeous, lengthy drama tracks a bond between two men forged among, and by, the mountains.
It’s the spreading tale of a friendship that begins one mid-’80s summer, when city kid Pietro (Lupo Barbiero) comes with his mother on vacation to Grana, a tiny fading hamlet nestled under the nearby Alps. He meets Bruno (Cristiano Sassella), and through herding cows and clambering on rocks and splashing in clear mountain lakes, the two 11-year-olds bond quickly, despite radical differences in background and temperament. Pietro ventures further out into the world, eventually finding a new home in Nepal, while Bruno’s life contracts around him and the mountain he cannot leave. Their fortunes slowly reverse.
This rich, beautiful and inexpressibly sad film is about the friendship between men who can’t talk about their feelings and about winning and losing at the great game of life. It is set in the breathtaking and wonderfully photographed Italian Alpine valley of Aosta, which includes the slopes of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. But the “eight mountains” of the title refers to the eight highest peaks of Nepal: a mysterious symbol of worldly ambition and conquest