Mountain News: Mountainfilm recap 

Page 3 of 3

A film about plastic, called "Bag It," won rave reviews at the film festival. You will hear about it again.

As for Mortenson, he revealed that he wasn't entirely comfortable with "Three Cups of Tea." He was, he reported, driven by both his publisher and his collaborator to cut corners of the story in order to heighten the drama. In his second book, "Stones into Schools," he was under no such pressure. The result, observed Packer, the New Yorker writer, was a book that was "less happy but more interesting."

"Three Cups" was written nine years ago, Mortenson said. "I've learned a lot since then."

And that was another of the dualities at Mountainfilm: the power of simple stories, the more tortured truth that becomes apparent to people as they age.

Listening to Mortenson, you can't help but feel that someday he will be granted a Nobel Peace Prize. But maybe not. He would seem to present an inviting target when in Asia. He deflects such suggestions, insisting that he feels more threatened when in the United States.

That may be so, said Packer, who himself as widely travelled and reported from Iraque, the Congo and other of the world's most volatile places. But he couldn't help but worry about his safety.



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