The Eight Mountains (Le otto montagne)
Directed by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch
$12 | $8 Speed members
“This is the rare movie that understands how tied we are to the physical and psychological spaces of childhood, how our families and the traditions they raised us with can be both nurturing and limiting.”—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
The Eight Mountains is a slow-churning naturalist tale about a city boy and a mountain boy defining intimacy, friendship, and an unconditional bond that progresses over two decades.
Based on the book by Paolo Cognetti, the film follows the young boy Pietro from Turin on holiday with his parents in a small village in the Italian Alps. He’s paired with the sole young resident of the town, Bruno, a boisterous child who introduces Pietro to the joys of country life. Their time together is precious and life-changing, but studies and work responsibilities draw them apart.
Their lives reconverge more than a decade later when the possibility of restoring a mountain home together draws Pietro back to the mountain and the two men must renegotiate a friendship that had matured as new complexities of adulthood.
As film critic Guy Lodge describes it, “This combined restraint builds to a devastating torrent of feeling, like tears held back and back and back and then no more; an ode to loves taken granted in life, it makes the case for renewing and reviving our oldest alliances.”
Winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 2022, Italy/Belgium/France, DCP, in Italian, English, and Nepali with English subtitles, 147 minutes. Recommended for 16+.