The summits of my life series were supposed to be a document on the attempts of Kilian to conquer speed records on the biggest summits of the world, starting with the Mont Blanc crossing. In “A fine line”, things started off on the wrong foot. Stephane Brosse, who was guiding him on his record course, fell and died. The first part of the series then became an emotional movie, less about the joys of running, more about the risks and possible consequences. But also about a love for running so strong that, despite the events, Kilian will always be drawn back into the mountains.
Déjame Vivir then could be considered as the real kick-off of the series. We follow Kilian with Mathéo Jacquemoud, pupil of Kilian and hyper talented. Still a bit younger and lacks the skills for high speed descents. Well, compared to Kilian that is. We follow him when he attempts to not only win the Mount Elbrus race, but take the speed record on it. We meet Vitaly Shkel, a Russian trail runner which kept reminding me of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Just to say: the guy is a machine. Still, there’s a sort of silent understanding between the two, even though they’re totally different: Kilian, playing with the camera crew, seemingly wasting energy like a 5 year old. Shkel, respectful to the environment, running his race, one with the surroundings.
Finally, there’s the Matterhorn record attempt. Kilian talks to Bruno Brunod who set the record time of 2h52 back in 1995. We follow Kilian when he explores the mountain. There’s a lot of respect for the Matterhorn, that much is clear.
Throughout all of this, the work of Seb Montaz is simply astonishing. I’m sure some of the training run shots were staged, but it’s amazing how well he manages to document the record attempts, where “Kilian, could you go back and run that stretch again” isn’t an option. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the mountains when seeing all this beauty.
If I’m a bit vague here, it’s because I don’t want to tell too much. Of course, you might already know whether Kilian broke those records or not. And if you don’t, you could just look it up. But then again, you could also just buy the movie and watch it and let yourself be taken away by it. If not for the runs, then for the conversations with Brunod, Emelie Forsberg & the one between Mathéo and his grandma. And if you do, try to do so early in the afternoon or maybe even somewhere in the morning, because you’ll probably feel like running afterwards. I know I did!