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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Daniel Meincke
Tim & Maureen Clark, Wendy Ellis, Tom & Yolanda Lobacz, Paul Meincke
Running Time
16 Mins.

 "Climbing Kili" Review 
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Far more entertaining and inspiring than anything brought forth by Jack Nicholson or Morgan Freeman, "Climbing Kili" is the true story of three middle-aged couples who decide to tackle one big ole' bucket list item...climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

While it is common for directors to wrap a film such as "Climbing Kili" around a heartwarming story of overcoming obstacles, triumphing over nature or some other weepy storyline, in "Climbing Kili" director Daniel Meincke wisely trusts his intelligent, sensitive subjects to sell the story themselves along with the stellar camera work of Michael Noens and an excellent original score by Theadore. In a mere 16 minutes, Meincke patiently brings out the story of a group of friends whose loyalty, perseverance and self-sacrifice is a lesson for us all.

Nominated for a 2009 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award, "Climbing Kili" works beautifully because Meincke focuses the film on the ensemble nature of the adventure. While each person involved may very well be there for a different reason, it quickly becomes clear that they are sharing this adventure together with great intention and genuine affection for one another. Each individual succeeds in different ways, while each individual faces different challenges along the way.

Meincke incorporates footage of the climb itself with post-climb interviews and personal reflections from each climber about the impact of the experience. The final result is a short film that feels less manipulative and histrionic and more grounded in the very real human thoughts and feelings of accomplishing most Americans will never accomplish.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 - By the end of the year 2021, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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