Legendary alpinist Alex Lowe’s life and untimely death have been the stuff of climbing legend for decades. But Torn, a new documentary directed by his son Max Lowe, tells a version of the story you haven’t heard before. The film weaves together unseen archival footage with intimate family interviews to explore the aftermath of death in the mountains and the long shadow Lowe cast on his loved ones.
Lowe and cameraman David Bridges died in 1999 after being caught in an avalanche while traversing Tibet’s Shishapangma. Conrad Anker, Lowe’s climbing partner and best friend, survived the accident and eventually married Lowe’s widow Jennifer and adopted their sons Max, Sam, and Isaac. Now, more than 20 years after Lowe’s death, the eldest son, 33-year-old Max, steps behind the camera to grapple with the shadows of loss across a blended family.
“To the outside world, Anker’s devotion to the family appeared to be an act of love rooted in a mix of benevolence, grief, and guilt,” wrote Grayson Schaffer in an Outside review. “But to a young Max missing his father, Anker rotating into the family home wasn’t necessarily cause for celebration. Part of Max’s journey in the film is coming to terms with the gift that Anker would become in his life.”
If you haven’t watched the documentary yet (or you’re looking to see it again), here’s where to find it.
Watch It Online
No need to put on shoes to catch the film. You can stream Torn from the comfort of your couch with a Disney+ subscription. The doc is not available on any other streaming service.
Watch It In Theaters
Select theaters across the country are also showing the movie on the big screen. Here’s a complete list of locations featuring the film.