Monday, May 1st, 2023

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviews THE EIGHT MOUNTAINS an epic journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery

The Eight Mountains is an epic journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery set in the breathtaking Italian Alps. Focusing on the key non-sexual male relationships a man has, ie: those with his best male friend and his father, we follow Pietro and Bruno over three decades as they navigate their profound, complex relationship.

Pietro (Lupo Barbiero) and Bruno (Cristiano Sassella) meet in 1984, when aged 12, Pietro and his parents, keen to escape their busy lives in Turin, move to the small Italian mountain village of Grana for their summers. There, Pietro meets Bruno, the only child in the village, and the two boys soon become firm friends. Bruno lives with his aunt and uncle farmers. His father lives in another village. Pietro’s parents warm to Bruno, particularly Pietro’s outdoor-loving father who finds Bruno’s rustic fortitude appealing compared to Pietro’s comparative physical weakness.

At some point, Pietro’s family asks Bruno if he wants to come and live with them in Turin so he can get a proper education. Bruno is keen but his father refuses and takes him away from the village to work on construction sites. The two boys are separated and don’t see each other for 15 years. Then, by chance, they spot each other in a bar. By this point, Pietro is estranged from his father.

Pietro’s father dies a few years later and Pietro (now played by Luca Marinelli) returns to the mountain village. He meets up with Bruno (now played by Alessandro Borghi) and the two old friends reconnect properly. Bruno is now also estranged from his father. Bruno discloses that Pietro’s father had remained in contact with him for all these years, hiking together etc, and that they had essentially had the father-son relationship that both Bruno and Pietro’s father had missed. Bruno reveals that Pietro’s father had bought a dilapidated mountain ruin and had asked him to restore it. He asks Pietro to help him restore the house and together the two men spend a summer living together and restoring the house. Their friendship is deep and pure. They decide to share ownership of the house. Bruno is very focused on his life in the mountains and is developing a business as a cheese maker, whereas Pietro remains slightly lost and has drifted from job to job.

We follow the men for a few years as Bruno develops his business, and forms a family with Lara (Elisabetta Mazzullo) an ex-fling of Pietro’s. Pietro goes on soul-searching trips to Nepal, publishes a book and becomes a head chef. He also meets a partner, Asm (Surakshya Panta). The two men are not always in contact with each other, but when they are, they effortlessly pick up from where they left off. That said, their relationship is not without drama or tension as the two men navigate life’s often tough journey.

Directors and have created a thoughtful study into relationships. Based on the award-winning 2016 novel by  they combine beautiful cinematography and a poetic soundtrack with great art direction and strong performances by the cast. Often narrated by Pietro, themes explored include the toughness of rural life, self-discovery, father-son relations and the deep bond of the best friend relationship. At two and a half hours, you’ll need to make time to watch this slow-paced, quiet film properly but it’s worth it. An unusual, special film.



The Cannes Jury Prize Winner opened in New York on Friday, April 28 at Angelica & Film at Lincoln, then 
in Los Angeles May 5 at Landmark's Nuart Theatre




Queerguru’s Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant  (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah

Posted by queerguru  at  11:00


Genres:  drama, international

Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View queertiques By: