Elevation 42| 1hr : 03mins
Director: Ema Konstantinova | Producer: Red Carpet
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: Bulgaria
On August 1, 1990, Ivan Kozhuharov, a young and promising Bulgarian mountaineer, suffered a tragic accident during a climb in the French Alps. His body is smashed up by a rockslide. Yet Ivan survives. The doctors are not hopeful â€“ they prognosticate that Ivan will spend the rest of his life totally paralyzed and in hospital. He, however, is keen to disprove these expectations. After 10 months in a Geneva hospital, he manages to mobilize his arms and hands (although his fingers would stay immobile forever).
From that moment on, Ivan has to struggle daily with the obstacles, big and small, of his new existence. He does this amazingly well. He completes an economics degree, studies several foreign languages and starts a job at a bank. With friends, he sets up a popular association of the Swiss Bulgarian community.
Ivan succeeds not just in coming back to life, but in throwing himself into it fully â€“ with his heart, mind and will. He manages to preserve his astonishing sense of humor. If you ask him what heâ€™s doing, heâ€™ll say he is seated. If you ask him how he manages to be so successful after his accident, heâ€™ll say that one has to run a lot to stay in the same place.
But this is not all. Ivan never forgets the mountain. And here it is â€“ another â€œmiracleâ€ â€“ and a landmark in the history of mountaineering. In 2009, mounted on a specially built sledge, Ivan and around 40 of his friends, climb the summit of Mont Blanc.