The Highest Pass (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Highest Pass (2012)

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Soon after Adam Schomer meets a modern yogi and guru, Anand Mehrotra, they plan an expedition through the highest passes of the Himalayas in Northern India. These are some of the most dangerous roads in the world, yet they manage to assemble a team of 7 motorcycle riders to share in what will become the journey of a lifetime. These riders and Adam, who learned to ride two weeks before the trip, are guided by the inspiring teachings of Anand. But wisdom in words and wisdom in practice can be very different indeed, especially when riding along the edge of slush laiden cliffs. -- (C) Cinema Libre
Rating:
R
Genre:
Documentary , Faith & Spirituality , Sports & Fitness
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$20,386.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Critic Reviews for The Highest Pass

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (3)

It's nice that these people found peace on their motorcycles on top of the world. But for the rest of us, it never really gets off the ground.

Full Review… | June 28, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

This dull documentary looks and feels like a season of MTV's "The Real World" set in mountainous India.

June 14, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Part travelogue, part spiritual quest, "The Highest Pass" is a filmic fusion of the outer and inner journeys riders experience, taken to physical and mental extremes.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Highest Pass

All his life, Adam Schomer has been seeking a spirit guide, a guru to help him find his true purpose. "Since I was a kid, I've been wanting a guru, a wise teacher," he says, "I think we all want that." He found his guru in the place you would most likely expect him to find one: India. Adam is, we're not surprised, a very spiritual guy, someone who is prone to meditation and ritualistic practices in order to calm his spirit. Whether you follow his beliefs or you disregard them as a lot of nonsensical hooey, you have to admire Schomer for his willingness to travel all the way to India to gain an understanding of his place in the universe. Schomer's search for a guru led him, not to an ancient wise man, but to a good-looking 28 year-old Indian native named Anand Mehorta, whose birth chart led - rather unnervingly - to the information that he would die in an accident at an early age. That Anand was so willing to lead Adam and six other travelers on a perilous journey on motorcycles to the highest pass in The Himalayas might make perfect sense; for Anand and for Adam, getting there might just help them achieve their individual destinies. Jon Fitzgerald's documentary The Highest Pass charts that journey. The film is evenly split into two distinctive purposes; one is the spiritual journey, the other a lovely travelogue as seven travelers take the journey up the mountains into The Himalayas on motorcycles. The landscapes are breathtaking, reminding me of the photography that I saw as a kid in the pages of National Geographic. We see this not only in the mountains but in the faces and in the customs of the locals along the way. We learn a lot about the road up to those ancient mountains, most strikingly is how easy it is to get hit by oncoming trucks moving in the opposite direction. The roads are narrow, dotted with potholes and are not really suitable for trucks to pass oncoming traffic. Two accidents occur among the group, but thankfully nothing serious. One of the more serious incidents happens to Brooks Hale, a youthful Broadway producer whose incident nearly makes him rethink what he has gotten himself into. He never says this, but we openly sense it in his anxiety. Brooks becomes a voice of logic, especially when it becomes apparent that Anand may not know exactly what he's doing. Reaching the snowy roads leading into the mountains, Anand wrecklessly leads the crew onward even though he has been told that the snow on the roads won't be clear for another two days. Perhaps this comes from inexperience, wrecklessness or just the information that Anand's birth chart told him that his time was short. What has he got to lose? That may be true, but we are left to wonder why he is so eager to expose others to this rather suicidal trek? As you might expect, the destination is not the point. What lies at the highest pass is not exactly suprising, but the point of the movie is the journey getting there. Much of the movie is taken over by perils along the way. Anderson has created a documentary that often doesn't feel so much like a feature film as one of those curios that shows up every now and then on The Travel Channel (with a helping of two songs by Jon Anderson of the band Yes). The film is divided, unevenly, between the journey and spiritual philosophy that is spelled out in a lot of talking head interviews, mostly be Schomer himself. That's both a credit and a curse. We get to know a great deal about Adam, but many of his fellow travellers, are left as shadows in the backgrounds. We never really get to know the other members of the group as well as we might like. They are seen in fleeting interviews but we wonder about who they are. One of the most interesting is Ariane de Bonvoison, a twenty-something free spirit who admits that social standards dictate that a woman her age should be married and raising kids. Clearly she has another purpose for her life, and I would like for the movie to have explored that. The film moves long at a brief 92 minutes and with that, there simply isn't time to get to know everyone. I think I would like to have a least one scene where they sit and have lunch and talk about what brought them to India in the first place. We see some colorful characters but that's all they are. There's not much profound here except a lot of spiritual theology, that you have either brought into the film with you aren't likely to be moved to pursue. Still, The Highest Pass is a well-made, beautiful looking documentary that may not change your life, but is entertaining all the same.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts

All his life, Adam Schomer has been seeking a spirit guide, a guru to help him find his true purpose. "Since I was a kid, I've been wanting a guru, a wise teacher," he says, "I think we all want that." He found his guru in the place you would most likely expect him to find one: India. Adam is, we're not surprised, a very spiritual guy, someone who is prone to meditation and ritualistic practices in order to calm his spirit. Whether you follow his beliefs or you disregard them as a lot of nonsensical hooey, you have to admire Schomer for his willingness to travel all the way to India to gain an understanding of his place in the universe. Schomer's search for a guru led him, not to an ancient wise man, but to a good-looking 28 year-old Indian native named Anand Mehorta, whose birth chart led - rather unnervingly - to the information that he would die in an accident at an early age. That Anand was so willing to lead Adam and six other travelers on a perilous journey on motorcycles to the highest pass in The Himalayas might make perfect sense; for Anand and for Adam, getting there might just help them achieve their individual destinies. Jon Fitzgerald's documentary The Highest Pass charts that journey. The film is evenly split into two distinctive purposes; one is the spiritual journey, the other a lovely travelogue as seven travelers take the journey up the mountains into The Himalayas on motorcycles. The landscapes are breathtaking, reminding me of the photography that I saw as a kid in the pages of National Geographic. We see this not only in the mountains but in the faces and in the customs of the locals along the way. We learn a lot about the road up to those ancient mountains, most strikingly is how easy it is to get hit by oncoming trucks moving in the opposite direction. The roads are narrow, dotted with potholes and are not really suitable for trucks to pass oncoming traffic. Two accidents occur among the group, but thankfully nothing serious. One of the more serious incidents happens to Brooks Hale, a youthful Broadway producer whose incident nearly makes him rethink what he has gotten himself into. He never says this, but we openly sense it in his anxiety. Brooks becomes a voice of logic, especially when it becomes apparent that Anand may not know exactly what he's doing. Reaching the snowy roads leading into the mountains, Anand wrecklessly leads the crew onward even though he has been told that the snow on the roads won't be clear for another two days. Perhaps this comes from inexperience, wrecklessness or just the information that Anand's birth chart told him that his time was short. What has he got to lose? That may be true, but we are left to wonder why he is so eager to expose others to this rather suicidal trek? As you might expect, the destination is not the point. What lies at the highest pass is not exactly suprising, but the point of the movie is the journey getting there. Much of the movie is taken over by perils along the way. Anderson has created a documentary that often doesn't feel so much like a feature film as one of those curios that shows up every now and then on The Travel Channel (with a helping of two songs by Jon Anderson of the band Yes). The film is divided, unevenly, between the journey and spiritual philosophy that is spelled out in a lot of talking head interviews, mostly be Schomer himself. That's both a credit and a curse. We get to know a great deal about Adam, but many of his fellow travellers, are left as shadows in the backgrounds. We never really get to know the other members of the group as well as we might like. They are seen in fleeting interviews but we wonder about who they are. One of the most interesting is Ariane de Bonvoison, a twenty-something free spirit who admits that social standards dictate that a woman her age should be married and raising kids. Clearly she has another purpose for her life, and I would like for the movie to have explored that. The film moves long at a brief 92 minutes and with that, there simply isn't time to get to know everyone. I think I would like to have a least one scene where they sit and have lunch and talk about what brought them to India in the first place. We see some colorful characters but that's all they are. There's not much profound here except a lot of spiritual theology, that you have either brought into the film with you aren't likely to be moved to pursue. Still, The Highest Pass is a well-made, beautiful looking documentary that may not change your life, but is entertaining all the same.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
½

Great little doc about a trip of spiritual bikers up to the Himalayas. Winning the fear of death is a good thang. I liked the film very much, unpretentious and moving. Shot and directed very well. Go see it in a theater if you're in Los Angeles where it just opened.

Claire Sinclair
Claire Sinclair

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