Posted: Nov 10, 2011 11:13 pm EST (Newsdesk) Like any true champion he made it look easy: Jerzy Kukuczka awed fellow mountaineers time and again with 8000er summits bagged in alpine style and the dead cold of winter.
The wonder-climber's accomplishments were overshadowed in media by the "second" position he held in the 14x8000ers race behind South Tyrolean Messner and a new documentary about the Polish legend is therefore anticipated by the core mountaineering community.
"This is great," said veteran Kurt Diemberger right after screening, "It's a long time overdue that somebody puts facts against fiction!"
Directed and produced by Jerzy Porebski, the film goes through the life and deeds of the Polish mountaineer, who fell to his death on the South Face of Lhotse in 1989, and includes interviews with Jerzy's wife Celina and son Wojtek (who was 5 when Kukuczka died), plus fellow high altitude climbers Carlos Carsolio, Krzysztof Wielicki, Reinhold Messner and Kurt Diemberger.
Reviewing the film, Bob A. Schelfhout Aubertijn wrapped it up:
"Not one to take the easy road up, Kukuczka collected his 8000m summits in the most astonishing way possible; either in winter, or on new routes, sometimes even both, and - with one exception - all without the use of artificial oxygen. This he managed to complete in a record time; just short of 8 years."
"The documentary compiles a series of interviews with people related to Jerzy's life and career, interwoven with historic footage," Bob stated. "It provides an intimate insight into the life and times of a legend, in the truest meaning of the word. Otherwise, the man behind the legend sing praise of an astonishing character."
"In all, this documentary is giving us - who lack first-hand knowledge - a rare, personal and highly intimate view into the life of a magnificent climber who won't be easily forgotten," the reviewer concluded. "The 'Highly recommended' tag is inadequate wording to what I intend to convey: 5 stars out of 5!"