Serious risk is inherent in extreme sports. So why do people do them? Director Josephine Anderson, in a director’s statement, allows that she is too afraid to ride a mountain bike — so, who better to closely observe three female pro mountain bikers and ask the question: Why do they do it? This is a tough movie about the tough subject of human toughness, and vulnerability, and accomplishment.
Running the Roof
On a bet made between friends, a globe is spun and where a finger lands will determine the destination for a multi-day run. Tajikistan. Bonded by their love of running, and now committed to seeing their bet through, the friends pull out a map and plot their route through the Bartang valley, taking them over 300 miles (500 kilometers) across the country from the border of Afghanistan to the border of China. Surrounded by enormous mountains in what the locals call “the roof of the world,” they run over a marathon a day for a week, discovering a wild landscape and what they are capable of when pushed to their limits.
Reel Rock 15: Black Ice
Since 2017, Memphis Rox, “a community center disguised as a climbing gym,” has brought the camaraderie of climbing and its generative sense of personal accomplishment to a Memphis inner-city neighborhood. In the winter of 2020, legendary climber Conrad Anker invited a crew from Memphis Rox to tackle ice climbing outside Bozeman, Montana. For some of the Black climbers, including filmmaker Malik Martin, the expedition was their first trip outside Memphis. “Montana is so white, it makes your eyes hurt,” one of them observes. The restorative values of outdoor recreation have never been so needed as they are today — a subject Black Ice addresses head on.