by Manrico dell'Agnola
Donnafugata stars the spectacular Torre Trieste, one of the most beautiful rock structures in the world. Its story is that of one of the most celebrated modern Dolomite routes — which gives its name to the film — relived through the difficult free climb by Sara Avoscan and Omar Genuin.
This scream of stone is narrated by the photographer-climber Manrico Dell’Agnola, who, in words and images, traces the salient events of ninety years of history of the sun-drenched overhanging south face, a yellow wall that cannot fail to impress anyone who climbs the Mussaia from Capanna Trieste toward Rifugio Vazzoler.
For Manrico, these are his home mountains, the environment he knows and loves best. These places were the setting for some of his most notable mountaineering adventures, and it was here that he took his first hesitant steps on the rock; then came the free solo climbs, the new routes, the enchainments, and dozens of climbs on these massive limestone pillars that reminded the first climbers of the gulf between Venice and Trieste.
But this time Manrico is on the other side of the camera; his role is to give voice to a mountain and its exceptional protagonists.
The main narrative of the film focuses on “Donnafugata,” a route first ascended with a modern mindset by the South Tyrolean champion Christoph Hainz in 2004. A very difficult climb, which, if freed, is graded up to 8a — a complicated 8a, not very intuitive — and which is encountered after a series of very demanding pitches, some crumbly, on an Alpine wall of 750 meters.
The two protagonists are two icons of the regional (and beyond) climbing scene: Sara Avoscan and Omar Genuin, a couple from Falcade, partners in life and in climbing. She has climbed 8c, he 8c+. Two reserved and reticent characters, but extremely strong and determined on difficult Dolomite routes — one of the few pairs capable of transferring to the mountains the levels they achieve on crags or artificial walls. Their accomplishments include some of the most challenging routes in the Dolomites, and Sara has also achieved outstanding results in sport climbing competitions.