After serving in the Army in Iraq, Stacy Bare found himself back home, abusing drugs and alcohol, and on the verge of becoming a statistic. He no longer knew who he was. So Bare convinced two army buddies to deploy on a return mission to Iraq, to, of all things, make a ski movie. Racked by survivor’s guilt and reliving the horrors of their tours of duty, the amateur skiers are challenged to find redemption on rickety towropes and bony couloirs. This time around, they are not invading soldiers, but mountain lovers, building cultural bridges, working toward peace and rewriting a happier ending to their stories.
Travel writer, poet and essayist Gretel Ehrlich has spent much of her life studying disappearing cultures and examining humans’ relationship to landscapes. She is the recipient of three National Geographic Expedition grants and the author of 15 books. Chris Rainier, meanwhile, is a photographer whose mission is to put wilderness and disappearing cultures on film. His work has been published in Time, Life, Smithsonian, The New York Times and many National Geographic publications, and he is well known for his book Ancient Marks. Both are longtime friends of Mountainfilm who have participated or visited many times over the years. In this shared presentation, they will address “Cultures on the Brink.” Ehrlich will recount her explorations of the two northernmost villages in Greenland, where she talked to indigenous Arctic people about climate change. Rainier, meanwhile, will examine the questions that have kept him on the road for over 40 years: “Why does mankind travel? What draws humans to sail behind the horizon, motivates us to seek unknown lands and attracts us to the landscapes and the cultures living on the frayed edge of the map?”In Person: