When we watch the news and when we read articles from France we often hear about the disadvantaged youth and the mischief that they get up to. Par-Delà les Hauteurs, shown at FIFAD, is a documentary about a team of youths who go to the Alps and experience the mountains for the first time. The aim later in the film is to go to the Himalayas and experience the high mountains.
This documentary is pleasant because it breaks some of the stereotypes that we have. We see a team of young people who are part of football teams prepare for and then head to the mountains. In the first instance they are introduced to the mountains and then they are given a medical checkup to see whether they are physically sound to go to high altitude for an adventure.
In the medical checkup they cycle at a simulated altitude of 4800 metres before being cleared for the trip. They are then kitted up and head to high altitude. In this trip we see them full of energy when they arrive before feeling the effects of altitude, slowing down and in two cases needing to be put in a hyperbaric chamber of sorts to see whether they can counteract the effects of mild hypoxia. High altitude is much about physical fitness as mental stamina.
In the end these young people have been given a fantastic opportunity to experience a different culture, to see how people react to them and to see a different landscape than they are used to in their ordinary lives.
On this day I had the pleasure of experiencing my first parapente flight and as a result did not watch the other films. One was about wildlife in the Alps and another of the films was Jumbo Wild. They cover topics that I am interested in. By this point in the week I had spent enough time watching documentaries and films.