Weekend Warm-Up: Uruca II, Bugaboos Edition

This animated film stresses human — some would say all-too-human — behaviour rather than epic feats. In fact, the story of Hugo and Felipinho working their flatulent, crabby way up a multi-pitch climb on a faraway Canadian spire is surely more familiar to most of us than those otherworldly gymnastic moves and 55º snowboard descents that we love to share on social media.

Erick Grigorovski’s film takes a couple of minutes to warm up to. The graphics and motion resemble an online tutorial for a lawn mower more than a Pixar-quality production. But if you give the film a chance, you may recognize in it some of your own experiences, or those of an unfortunate friend of yours: when Nature seems to conspire against you, immeasurably worsened by the climber’s recurrent nightmare, a bad belayer.

Eventually, the mounting suspense and smartly chosen scenes win you over, as it did mountain film festival juries last year.

If Uruca II gives you a taste for Grigorowsky’s work, you can view his 2016 Entre Nos (Among Us). Unfortunately, his first Uruca film is only available in Portuguese.