28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Mára Goes to Heaven
Mára Goes to Heaven
Mára Goes to Heaven
Mára Goes to Heaven
Mára Goes to Heaven

Mára Goes to Heaven

director: Markéta Ekrt Válková
original title: Mára jde do nebe
country: Czech Republic
year: 2022
running time: 80 min.


Marek “Mara” Holeček is one of the most noted mountain climbers of our time, both in the Czech Republic and worldwide. He is known for climbing atop the highest mountains, high enough to touch the sky, all without oxygen and in a demanding Alpine style. His extreme approach to mountain climbing and life brings him great success, but also many problems. The film Mara Goes to Heaven follows his five attempts at the first ascent atop the challenging mountain of Gasherbrum I, located in the Karakoram Mountain Range in Pakistan. We catch sight of the surroundings through the eyes of Mara Holeček and those around him as well as through the eyes of those who wait to see if they will make it back alive. The successful expedition ended up being his fifth attempt, but the film also follows the unsuccessful attempts before it that ended in tragedy. During those first four attempts, Mara lost several toes to frostbite and also lost a friend and a fellow climber who both fell to their deaths right in front of him from a height of thousands of feet.


A graduate in documentary filmmaking from FAMU, Markéta Ekrt Válková (* 1973) is the auteur of a number of documentary films made for Czech Television and particularly the CT series A Close-Up (Zblízka) (“The Puppets of Tomáš Dvořák,” “The Wanderings of J. A. Pitínský”) and Intolerance (“Hyper Mega Super”). She directed the docuseries Childhood: A Reason for Coming of Age (Dětství, důvod k dospělosti), The Movements of Dance (Pohyby tance), Motorcycling (Motocyklení), A Year Different (Rok jinak), and First-Time Voters 2021 (Prvovoliči 2021). She also co-directed the docusoaps Four In It (Čtyři v tom) and I'll Do It! The Receiver (Provedu! Přijímač).

more about film

director: Markéta Ekrt Válková
producer: Martina Šantavá
script: Markéta Ekrt Válková
photography: David Cysař, Jan Šimánek, Markéta Ekrt Válková, Matěj Piňos, Ferdinand Mazúrek, Petr Záruba, Pavel Klement
editing: Petr Mrkous
music: Marek Doubrava
sound: Miroslav Chaloupka
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas