Review: ‘Pasang: In The Shadow of Everest’ Showcases a National Hero with Tenacity to Spare

Pasang: In The Shadow of Everest

Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest brings to life the untold and inspiring story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest who, in her quest, awakened her country to the entrenched inequalities confronted and endured by women and in Nepal.


Why do people climb mountains? What is it that drives a person to climb to the peak of the highest mountain on earth? As a person afraid of heights and generally risk-averse, I, for one, will certainly never understand. But whatever it is that lights that kind of internal fire within a person, it is certainly not a male instinct alone. 

 Although not intentional, it was ultimately very appropriate that I watched Pasang: In The Shadow of Everest on International Womens’ Day. The film tells the story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest in 1993. Succeeding in a sport dominated by men and traditionally an elite pastime of the western world, Pasang also battled ethnic discrimination, cultural gender norms, and even political opposition to become a national hero. Filmmaker Nancy Svendsen does a lovely job presenting Pasang’s tenacity and determination, which boldly shines through as she pushes back against skepticism and critique at every turn.

 Just in time for Womens’ History month, this film is a poignant example of the many untold tales of female heroism that are frequently under-recognized. Pasang: In The Shadow of Everest is an inspiring story that deserves the attention and recognition of international audiences.


Pasang: In The Shadow of Everest premiered at SBIFF on March 3rd.


Director: Nancy Svendsen

Writer/Producer: Sharon Wood

Producer: Christy McGill

Executive Producer: Ang Dorjee Sherpa

TRT: 72 minutes

Country: USA

Year: 2022

Language: English, French, Nepali


About Britni Rillera

Britni Rillera grew up in Los Angeles but spent many years in D.C. where she worked in politics for as long as humanly possible before moving back to the west coast. Although by day she now works in Big Tech, by night she is a writer and film enthusiast. Fun fact: Britni is still riding the high of a viral Tweet she made in 2018.