Screening on Thursday 10 Jun – 7:50 PM

Annapurna 1950, pour la patrie, par la montagne


On June the 3rd 1950, after more than half a century of failures on the highest summits of the world, Herzog and Lachenal are the first ones to succeed in climbing Annapurna. A victory with nationalist overtones, an example of heroism with a taste of revenge after a humiliating war for France. The two who reached the summit, Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal experienced a dramatic descent, saved by their companions Lionel Terray and Gaston Rébuffat. Herzog’s fingers froze, he had to be amputated during a nightmarish return walk, in the middle of a monsoon, through the Nepalese jungle. Lachenal loses his toes, he will not be able to exercise his profession of guide as before. On their return, the heroes were acclaimed, but it was Maurice Herzog, the expedition leader, who reaped the rewards of this glory. His political and professional career will be stimulated by the Annapurna, he will become a minister of De Gaulle, mayor of Chamonix, the key figure of the mountain for several decades … 

Seventy years after this legendary expedition, Johan Andrieux’s film revisits this page in the history of mountaineering and focuses on the fate of Louis Lachenal. A gifted mountaineer and conscientious guide, he noted in his notebook how he did not share Herzog’s heroic vision. These original notebooks, long kept secret by an official version defended by the mountain authorities, have recently been published by the Guérin editions. They offer a new and very moving perspective on the role of Lachenal in the French success on Annapurna. In his film, Johan Andrieux retraces this epic story and comes back with great accuracy on the controversy which, half a century after the ascent, upset the mountain world.

The choice of the festival

The subject was difficult to tackle, a historical film capable of summarizing one of the most sensitive pages of Alpine history. Johan Andrieux has magnificently summarized the issues at stake and painted a very accurate portrait of the protagonists. His aim is not to pass judgment on Herzog, but to explain how the links were established, how Lachenal’s voice was silenced in favor of a federal logic driven by personal ambitions. This film transmits very well the vision of an era, it participates fully in the cultural heritage of mountaineering. We are very happy to be the first festival to present it.

First broadcast in festival

  • Director

    Johan Andrieux
  • With

  • Duration

    52 minutes
  • Country

  • Release date


The projection

  • Screening date

    Thursday 10 June – 19:50
  • Place of screening

    Cinema Vox Chamonix
  • In the presence of

    Johan Andrieux
    Bernard Germain
    Bertrand Delapierre

Ticketing info

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