SHAFF2015 – Project Mina

MinaProject Mina is a thought provoking film. Essentially the story of Mina Leslie Wujatsyk trying to make her mark in the world of competition bouldering, it ends up being an honest appraisal of the pressures that elite climbers have to tussle with.

Wujastyk is a phenomenal climber, as those who have seen the short film of her climbing Careless Talk will testify. On the rock, she looks composed, fluid, heroic even as she wrestles not only with the technical intricacies of Ron Fawcett’s eighties testpiece but the increasingly scary plummets from it’s higher reaches. The childlike joy she demonstrates on success is a joy to behold, the very essence of the climbing experience at its best.

Competition climbing by contrast seems hard work. Where Wujastyk is engaged and driven on the rock, she seems beset by self doubt when faced with a competition. It’s no surprise, (SPOILER ALERT!) that at the end of the film she decides it’s not for her, that pulling hard on plastic lacks the spiritual element that fires her efforts on rock.

Painfully honest at times but leavened with some stunning footage of Wujastyk overcoming technical testpieces such as Pendragon 8a, this is a fine example of climbing film as confessional. Particularly for the traditionalists amongst us, it helpfully reinforces all those prejudices we hold dear. Nothing beats the real thing.


Details of Project Mina at SHAFF2015 here