Irish Film Institute -TORN


Director: Max Lowe

92 mins, USA, 2021, Digital

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When world renowned climber Alex Lowe tragically died in an avalanche, his best friend and climbing partner went on to marry his widow and help raise her three sons. This intimate film from eldest son Max, captures the family’s journey towards understanding as they finally lay him to rest.

Alex was a towering figure in the world of mountaineering, but he loomed even larger for Max, who was only 11 in 1999 when Alex was buried by an avalanche along with cameraman David Bridges while scaling the north face of Mount Shishapangma in the Tibetan Himalaya. 17 years after their deaths, Lowe’s and Bridges’ bodies were found by two climbers attempting the same route, and in the following months, Lowe’s family journeyed to the remote mountain to recover them. In the deeply moving Torn, Max Lowe examines the emotions this unearthed for him and his family, including his mother, Jennifer, younger brothers Sam and Isaac, and his stepfather Conrad Anker, Alex’s climbing partner and best friend.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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