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Directed by Kenji Tsukamoto

Cast: Ashima Shiraishi

Official Selection, 2024 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, 2024 Visions du Réel

14-year-old Ashima Shiraishi seems to have nowhere to go but up. Already hailed a rock-climbing prodigy, she is the idol of other young climbers and spends most of her time competing with – and beating – adult men. Perhaps inevitably, she has her eyes on the next summit: the V14 boulder, a climb so difficult, only 0.01 percent of climbers have surmounted it.

With her inspiring, but at times demanding, father-coach Poppo, Ashima circles the spot for her biggest challenge yet: a rock in South Africa far from the noise of civilization, where she will attempt what nobody her age has done before.

Director Kenji Tsukamoto is with Ashima and Poppo in this cocoon of silence, alone in their element. That Ashima is a small Japanese American teenager dwarfed by this giant, intimidating expanse is undeniable. Whether her conviction is greater than her fears is the test on display in this breathtaking, nail-biting documentary of a young woman who climbs boulders while shouldering the weight of mighty expectations.

–Brian Hu


Co-Presented by Bionic Sisters Productions and Women’s International Center.

Dates & Times


UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley

Thu, Apr 25
7:30 pm