Torn, the new documentary from photographer and National Geographic Explorer Max Lowe captures an intimate look at the Lowe-Anker family as the body of legendary climber Alex Lowe is uncovered 17 years after his death. The film premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival and won the award for Best Feature Film at BANFF; and will open in select theaters on Dec. 3, 2021.
On Oct. 5, 1999, Alex was tragically lost alongside cameraman and fellow climber David Bridges in a deadly avalanche on the slopes of the Tibetan mountain, Shishapangma. Miraculously surviving the avalanche was Alex’s best friend and climbing partner, renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker. After the tragedy, Anker and Alex’s widow, Jennifer, fell in love, married, and Anker stepped in to help raise Alex’s three sons.
In 2016, 17 years after their deaths, Lowe’s and Bridges’ bodies were discovered, and Lowe’s family journeyed to the remote Himalayan Mountains to recover the men’s remains. In the powerful and deeply moving Torn, director Max Lowe examines the long-buried feelings that the discovery unearthed for him and his family members. Weaving together archival footage of Alex’s spellbinding adventures, revealing home movies, and emotional interviews with Jennifer, Sam, Isaac and Conrad, Lowe challenges long-held family myths and questions his own beliefs as he creates an insightful examination of fatherhood, love, loss and resilience set against the high-stakes world of professional mountain climbing.
“I will never make another film in my life quite like Torn,” said director Max Lowe. “I have poured my soul into this intimate story of my family’s loss and redemption. To be able to share that with audiences across the world is a very special opportunity.”
Watch the official trailer for Torn.
National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film “Free Solo” and the Academy Award-nominated film “The Cave.” Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include Ron Howard’s “Rebuilding Paradise”; Sundance Audience Award winners “Science Fair” and “Sea of Shadows”; Emmy winners “LA 92” and “Jane,” both of which were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Academy Award in 2017; and Dupont Award winner “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.”