The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti film adaptation
6 May 2023
Still from The Eight Mountains, directed by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch.
The Eight Mountains, trailer, is one movie I’m looking forward to seeing, since I couldn’t get enough of Italian author Paolo Cognetti’s 2016 novel of the same name, when I read it. The story traces the lives of two boys, Pietro, and Bruno, from the time they first meet in the Aosta Valley, in the north of Italy, and the decades that follow.
Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the mountains that surround Italy. While on vacation at the foot of the Aosta Valley, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountains’ meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life — Bruno’s in the mountains, Pietro’s across the world — test the strength and meaning of their connection.
Made in 2021, filming locations included the Italian Alps, Turin, and Nepal, mostly preserving the authenticity of the story. While the film has a run time of almost two and a half hours, Elissa Suh, writing for Literary Hub, says the adaptation, co-directed by Felix van Groeningen, and Charlotte Vandermeersch, “adheres strictly to both the book’s tone and the author’s intent.”
If you haven’t read the novel, take the time to do so. The Eight Mountains is a whole different world, one where scaling mountains, and wandering through Alpine forests, comes as second nature to those residing within its realm.