The Other Side of the Mountain Essay - Critical Essays

E. G. Valens


In the introduction, Valens admits openly that The Other Side of the Mountain: Part II was written in response to the attention gained by Kinmont and the public interest in her life after the initial biography, A Long Way Up, and the feature films. As a result, much of this treatment of Kinmont’s life centers on her involvement in the screenplay and the film production. Her interactions with writers, producers, actors, and crew all helped to define her as a person. In particular, her discussions with the scriptwriters were pivotal in helping to explain her personal attitudes and development from her early life through the period of the accident and rehabilitation to her present occupation. The fact that the scriptwriters wanted to take her story beyond its biographical facts and alter it to the status of legend was continually upsetting to her. She continued her involvement with each film in spite of this fact, fearing the direction that the process would take without her intercession. The creation of these two films is a major focus of the biography. With the exception of the opening of the book, before the idea of a film was introduced to her, and the conclusion, after the second film was completed, the motion pictures or some reference to them are omnipresent.

Because of the overriding influence of these films on Kinmont’s life during the years covered by this book, it is difficult at times to separate the reality from the...

(The entire section is 548 words.)