Ernest Wilkerson is struggling to hold onto an independent lifestyle while facing a changing world and his own advancing age. Born in 1924, this humble mountain man cherishes his active life: “I cannot picture myself just sittin’ around doing nothin’.” A local legend in Monte Vista, Colorado, Wilkerson learned to fend for himself at a young age, becoming a government-hired wildlife trapper, taxidermist, conservationist and teacher of backcountry survival skills. His specialty is snow caves, but he says, “Your best survival tool is your brain.”
Voyage to the End of Winter (Voyage au bout de l’hiver)
French wildlife cinematographers Anne and Erik Lapied are spending a winter in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, high in the Italian Alps, in the hopes of photographing elusive animals — chamois, ibexes, hares, eagles, foxes, lammergeiers and others. This disarming story about their unusual, humbling winter alone in the mountains is pure and poetic, but the poetry becomes dangerous and the mountains turn sinister when a huge snowstorm dumps meters on their small hamlet. As avalanches crash down around them, they continue to capture images of nature and show how the animals cope — or perish — during a harsh winter.