View Full Version : The Last Mountain

B the Hiker
12-04-2012, 03:16 PM
This email just came in to a friend of mine.

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When my father, a Jewish professor at Tufts University, died in a mysterious hiking accident scaling his 100th peak in New England, my family filled a box with the facts and information we had about his death and packed it away. It remained stored in the basement for years, until I felt that I was ready to venture into the darkness and explore the meaning of what had happened, not only to my father, but to myself and to my entire family. The Last Mountain follows my quest to find out what my father was looking for and why he died. Was it an accident, or suicide? Nine years after his disappearance, my family and I return to the mountains, to the chilly site of his death, to explore, really for the first time, our own grief and anger.

The Last Mountain, broadcast on regional PBS stations, confronts death and its legacy head on. It addresses loss, grieving, the different ways that family members react to death, relations between fathers and daughters, parents and children, religious attitudes about death, and one daughter's attempt to seek healing by removing the final mountain standing in the way of her recovery.

Subject areas of the film: Jewish Studies, Social Sciences, Psychology, American Studies, Environment, Leisure/Recreation Studies and Thanatology.

The Last Mountain (2004) by Sally Rubin (maker of Deep Down, Cut, Body Politics and others).
23 minutes (DVD - ISBN 1-57295-823-5).

"Rubin's quiet and persistent vision explores more than her father's death, revealing both the psychology of family dynamics and her role as daughter and image-maker. A quietly courageous film that resonates inside the hearts of sons and daughters everywhere." - Stephen Parr, San Francisco Media Archive

"Hit me like a Mack truck without brakes on a downhill grade. The filmmaker doesn't succumb to the maudlin; she is able to distinguish true sentiment from sentimentality." - Marc Fields, Concord Academy/ Emerson University

“This movie deals with the stark reality of death, how it affects people (especially when it is tragic), and the search for meaning surrounding death and dying. An excellent film to explore this topic with young people. Highly recommended.” - Brad Eden, University Librarian for Technical Services and Scholarly Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara

Awards & Conference Screenings:
American Psychological Association
Finalist, Angelus Awards, Los Angeles
Best Student Documentary, Fargo Film Festival
Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Girl Fest Film Festival
Boulder Adventure Film Festival
Western Psychological Association

Thanks very much,

Sally Rubin


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12-04-2012, 03:42 PM
This is interesting. The late Professor Jeffrey Rubin of Tufts, who was 54 at the time, perished on a solo hike to Fort from No. Brother in June 1995. Fort would have completed (and perhaps did, since the search party that found his body had no way of knowing his route) his NEHH. Another professor hiked with him as far as North Brother, but turned back, in windy, rainy conditions.

I've always felt a special empathy for the late Professor, because, like many, I've felt that urge to complete a list when the finish-line is in sight (and also because I had a bit of a tough time, but not remotely comparable of course, on my first hike to Fort, also a solo, on a cold day one October).

Mike P.
12-07-2012, 02:52 PM
I was fortunate enough to meet up with some folks that knew Dave M. when I got to North Brother & we did it together. The rest of my loop was solo. I also remember Professor Rubin's trip.

Something to remember as I've decided that 2013 will be the year I finally go and finish the 11 ADK's I have left for the Northeast 111 (115)

12-07-2012, 03:25 PM
Sounds very interesting. I am going through papers and photos and diaries my family has kept for generations (probably they retained just a small portion of it, and I wish there was more to look at) but I can imagine the personal quest for more answers. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to see if my university library can get a copy for me to watch.