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Mount Everest Tragedy, Finding Michael (2023) | REVIEW

In 1999, Michael Matthews became the youngest Briton to summit Mount Everest but sadly, after his summit he was lost by his group and never seen again. Twenty-three years later, his brother Spencer sets out on a journey to find him. Teaming up with 14 peak record holder Nims Purge, the recovery team faces an extreme challenge as they try to discover Michael. Finding Michael (2023) is a truly fascinating and gut wrenching story, the reality of the situation is truly heart breaking but I enjoyed how this documentary took a step away from emotion and treated this like a real discovery mission. After watching this documentary I cannot imagine the pain Spencer Matthews and his family went through to create it but I am appreciative of the commitment to telling his brothers story and showing us, up close and personal, how imposing and terrifying Everest really is.

I personally found the documentary to be breathtaking, the visuals, the panoramic views and the overall cinematography were immense. They truly showed audiences a glimpse into Everest, something I had never seen before. The overall tone of this documentary isn’t overtly sad or upsetting, Spencer Matthews is a very realistic character with integrity and grit. He is there for a mission, running on pure hope and optimism. He handles the hope expiation like a pro, although he doesn’t make his way up Everest he handles the situation very well and I found him to be extremely likeable. This documentary is driven on pure ambition, I believed just as much as Spencer did that they would find Michael. An almost impossible search and although reality hit and sadly, Spencer could not bring his brother home he did one of the most selfless acts possible. Bringing another lost soul hope for their family, the way they were able to turn this documentary around and benefit somebody else’s family was truly beautiful and again, I have the upmost respect for him.

Overall, Finding Michael (2023) isn’t an easy watch, it’s difficult to imagine being in Spencer’s situation. Knowing your brother is right there, somewhere but able to reach him. It’s a painful documentary to watch when you over analyse the reality of the situation but, if you take a step back and appreciate the determination of the team he collected and the pure humanity of everyone involved in this documentary, it is a fascinating watch that I highly recommend.


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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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