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Gran Paradiso

Gran Paradiso

Following an accident 19-year old Mark is confined to a wheelchair unable to accept he will never walk again. When he tries to kill himself his therapist, Lisa, saves him by promising to make his dream come true: climbing the icy peak of the 13,000 ft high Gran Paradiso in the Alps.

But financial and bureaucratic problems get in the way so Lisa comes up with a daring plan and enlists her friend and colleague Martin who works in a youth prison. It's a strange group which finally sets off up the mountain: Mark, Lisa with the mentally handicapped odd couple Rosi and Harpo, and Martin with the juvenile delinquents recruited to carry Mark: Wolf, the charismatic leader of fellow inmates Edwin and Rocky, a clumsy skinhead and a streetwise Turk who are always fighting.

Physical hardships are soon forgotten as prejudices and mental barriers prove a bigger problem. The quest becomes a painful test of solidarity. The very disparate characters bond as they struggle through the magnificent mountainscape with its limitless horizons. In the end, reaching the peak is no longer an issue. They have learned to appreciate new values: friendship and tolerance. The people who come down are not the ones went up.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1999
Director Miguel Alexandre
Screenplay Georg Heinzen
Cinematography Peter Indergand
Inge Behrens
Dominic Roth
Cast Ken Duken, Gregor Toerzs, Regula Grauwiller
Producer Henrik Meyer
Production Company Studio Hamburg Letterbox, in co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures, Monty Film, Cologne
Runtime 106 min
Format 35 mm, color
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Montreal 2000, Fort Lauderdale 2000
Awards German Film Award 2001 for Best Supporting Actress
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
German Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures

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