Rock Climbing, Abseiling & Canyoning

Meet The 73 Year Old Mountaineer Who Uses Insect Stings To Numb The Pain In His Knees

Kurikindi is an inspiring film about one mans struggle the relentless march of time

A film by Arsenio Cadena, in partnership with Prime & Fire Selects, Talenthouse and BFI Future Film; examines one mans drive to climb to escape his fears.

The film focuses on 73 year old José Cadena, a South American taylor with a passion for climbing. He’s found his place in the mountains since he began climbing when he was just 20, and has been out on the rocks every day since.

While the spirit is willing, the body is struggling to keep up, and Cadena feels great pain in his kneed as he climbs. He refuses surgery, because he fears it means he won’t be able to climb any more, instead opting a more traditional approach – having an insect sting his knee, numbing the area and enabling him to continue his ascents.

While most people would accept that age is finally catching up with them, Cadena continues to climb because being alone with the mountain gives him time to think; to meditate on the past, the future, and the present. With his tailoring business faltering due to demand for cheaper, machine made suits, climbing gives him the escape he needs.

Photo: Factory Media

The Kurikindi, from which the film takes its name, is the sacred bird of the Incas. Believed to chase away accidents, the mountain birds were only ever seen in flight for thousands of years. However, recently, they’re having to approach man more to find food as their natural habitat is slowly being destroyed by modern society.

In many ways, it’s the perfect allegory for José Cadena. Both spirits who’re never closer to home when in the mountains, struggling to survive in a world that’s encroaching on their very existence.

Prime & Fire Selects, in association with Factory Media, is an annual film competition giving up-and-coming filmmakers the funds and support to create short human-interest documentaries within the realms of action sports.

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