A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground | 2020

Synopsis

A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground is an exploration into grief and its expression through the stories of individuals who have experienced loss or trauma due to climbing or alpinism. Made in collaboration with the Climbing Grief Fund, this artful compilation of interviews highlights how there is no singular or correct way to grieve. Indeed this topic is complex, vulnerable, confusing, non-linear, and absolutely imperative to the health of all of our communities. The process of openly grieving, both alone as well as in community, is an art nearly lost in our culture. In A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground, climbers discuss how they are learning to integrate grief into their daily lives and in effect, change the community’s collective narrative surrounding this topic. A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground investigates the paradoxes of grief and the grieving process while mirroring this complexity back to viewers as a starting point to de-stigmatize and normalize the conversation surrounding grief for climbers and non-climbers alike.

Let the beauty we love, be what we do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.
-13th Century Poet Rumi

Cast

Climbers

Climbing Footage Contributed by

Press

Rock and Ice
https://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/a-thousand-ways-to-kiss-the-ground-climbing-grief-grant-fundraiser/

Alpinist
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web20c/newswire-grief-fund-film-fundraiser

Rock and Ice
https://www.rockandice.com/people/stories-from-the-climbing-grief-fund/

Director Statement

As a filmmaker I look for the moments when our internal and external explorations come together to create instances that feel whole and deeply honest. "A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground" is a culmination of these moments for many members of the mountain climbing community.

The level of nuance required to make this film inspired a very delicate approach to filmmaking. This was true especially in the editing process. At times I felt like I was trying to weave a piece of cloth using a spider’s thread. The greatest challenge for me was to keep the integrity and meaning of each person’s story, in their excerpts, as I began to weave them in and out of each other. An excerpt could mean one thing in the context of their full interview but when placed before or after another person’s experience, it could take on a whole new meaning. I had to pay such close attention to the subtlety of this meaning so that I did not change it throughout the course of the edit. The challenge was to make all the voices work together and uplift each other as they communicated the message of this film while at the same time protecting the individuality of each character’s perspective and original meaning in their own story.