"Sherpa" - the movie

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  • Screening on Maori TV 18th June 8.30pm. Saw it at an arthouse cinema a year ago. Highlights the emergence of a new generation of Sherpa, educated & resenting their historical experience of colonialism as servents in their own land. The movie pivots on the 2014 Khumbu icefield avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa, the incident that came to blows between a European team & Sherpa (shown !), and the mixed points of view around Sherpa Phurba Tashi about to make his record breaking 22nd ascent. From memory, great settings and insightful people capture. Standout when candidly expressed that Sherpas are expected to do their 'owners' bidding, and hugely ironic that the radical anti-colonial expression is sometimes expressed from within or outside the gates of the Edmund Hillary school.
    This post has been edited by the author on 12 June 2018 at 22:32.
  • nepalese who have grown up with a maoist influence in parts of nepal have been indoctrinated that using violence is a valid means of getting what you want its claimed the violent sherpas in the icefall incident were from the maoist areas of nepal. they dont all want to get violent.. there had been a civil war going on in the maoists areas of nepal for some time. being called a mother#$%&@! and the other historic issues the sherpas experienced working for western guiding companies is hardly grounds for assaulting someone who isnt responsible for the historical issues by kicking them on the ground and throwing rocks at them when they are trying to apologise.
  • What a load of bollocks wayno. Have you been to Nepal? It’s a great movie. The people of the Sherpa kingdom are a proud and noble people. Their good nature has been taken advantage of for too long. The younger lot are better educated and more worldly. This was always going to happen. I’m fully supportive of them. Arrogant self absorbed western tourists have pushed too far. It will only happen more.
  • i said some, not all. it is fact. sure most nepalise are nice people but there are still a fair no that arent and it tends to be in the maoist influenced areas my sister told me great things about myanmar... but it depends where you go in the country as to whether there is violence or not.. it has been similar in nepal. https://www.thebmc.co.uk/everest-sherpa-steck-fight-the-sherpa-story “The Maoists taught kids that they could get what they want by throwing rocks or threatening violence.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/world/asia/a-decade-after-nepals-maoist-rebellion-little-justice-for-victims.html https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/25/world/asia/nepal-election-violence.html
    This post has been edited by the author on 13 June 2018 at 15:02.
  • Went to see this movie at The Embassy. The best way of describing the impact of the film on the audience was the 20 seconds or so of absolute silence as the credits started to roll, followed by applause. Something I've never before or since seen at a film screening. People filed out of the cinema in near silence - none of the usual chatter and hubbub of a departing film audience. That's to say it is a deeply moving, well presented, balanced piece of documentary work that has a huge impact on an audience. After witnessing all that: what is there to say. It would be interesting to see what different people take from the film. For me the 'goodies' and 'baddies' in the whole story were not the 'profit-orientated' climbing companies vs the 'exploited' sherpa vs the union 'agitators'. The film presented all of the above well as real people, not these shallow stereotypes. The sherpa who were followed came across each as genuine individuals with real families to feed, wives who they loved, kids who's lives they wished to be better than their own, making real-life decisions and compromises based on the reality that faced them. The company guides and operators came across as both passionate and compassionate people: passionate about the mountain, passionate about climbing and compassionate about their staff - distraught at the loss of life, loss of their colleagues and friends. For me the 'enemy', if any exists, was the whole Everest Circus which they all were perpetuating and trapped within, and which cared not a jot for any of them. That circus, I feel, traces back to the clients dehumanising the whole process by viewing it simply as a 'service' for which they have paid, rather than each individual as a person, each community as a living thing. Coming closer to home, this same process is, I suspect, at the heart of the culture clash between kiwi trampers for whom this is their culture, and the Te Araroans, great-walk tourists, etc here for a packaged experience. The 'Everest circus' was the thing against which I left that cinema speechless with anger, despair, sorrow after the loss of such a group of wonderful people.
    This post has been edited by the author on 14 June 2018 at 11:38.
  • after the deaths of several sherpas in an icefall avalanche, Melissa arnot one of the guides setup the juniper fund to raise money for the dependants of the deceased sherpas there's very little in the way of legislation to protect workers rights in Nepal, although since then the govt have put something in place i believe to get the guiding companies to contribute to insurance for the sherpas... the govt in the past promised to contribute proceeds of fees for mountain climbing permits but never did... corruption is rife in the govt, theres a regular change over of the person who heads the dept that looks after the administration of mountain climbing and an unwritten system where the head gets to take money for themselves, every new person wants to collect their share of the fees and they dont leave anything left for the people affected. of course there is zero social welfare for families that dont have anyone to support them financially. funerals usually clean out any money teh dependant family might have after a sherpa dies.
  • no one climbs everest and most of the high altitude nepalese mountains without the help of the sherpas somewhere.. even if they do it without a guide to the top. most of their gear and supplies will have been transported by shepers on foot at some stage of their trip. most climbers on everest have a guide to take them to the top, often a guide assigned to just one or two people. they take the most risks, and suffer the highest fatality rates, having to do the most trips through the dangerous icefall which is the most dangerous part of the climb up everest from the main routes. they carry heavy loads to high altitude that no one else can cope with. the high alitude guides literally keep people alive with their skill, they could have saved thousands of lives by intervening with their clients over the decades
    This post has been edited by the author on 14 June 2018 at 16:53.
  • I think it's the people who don't use guides, who do it themselvves,the elite few that really piss off the Sherpa people. They have an arrogant air of entitlement that is the very opposite of what most Sherpa believe. These people think they own the worlds mountains and forget who the tanganta whenua of these lands really are. The Sherpa people I talked too whilst in the khumjung felt that if they asked for more then tourism would stop. They are scared to lose the industry. It's the consumer globalisation catch 22.
  • A person from our club has been over several times. He was treking not climbing and the guide he used was not a sherpa but the other group. He has always used the same guide and paid him directly at many times the going rate although this is still a lot less than the guiding companies charge. This guide now has proper boots decent quality clothing and gear. He tells stories of the other guides walking across ice slops in footwear that is often plastic sandals and he also tells of one occasion where a guide slipped going 100 meters down a slope and losing the carried gear. The customers didnt care about the guide only where their gear had gone.
  • A lot of the porters aren't Sherpa but other ethnic groups from Nepal. They have terrible gear. Just basic street clothes. Crocs or cheap runners. It's nuts
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Forum The campfire
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On 12 June 2018
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