Finding Michael (2023)
This documentary sees Spencer Matthews travel to Nepal to search
for his brother’s body 23 years after his record climb and his consequent
disappearance. With scenes filmed in London, Scotland, Canada and Nepal, the
film took 2 years to make and was set for release on Friday 3rd
March. It was delayed by 4 days as it was decided last minute that footage and
photos of dead bodies may be disturbing to some viewers. The delay interval was
spent editing this footage and images of dead bodies, which are shown as
blurred in the final film.
Who was michael matthews?
Matthews Everest expedition faced criticism by the Matthews family
following the disappearance of Michael but the British Mountain Guides
professional standards committee found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Who is spencer matthews?
Spencer was raised on the family estates of Caunton Manor,
a 30-acre estate in Nottinghamshire, and Eden Rock in Saint
Barthélemy and studied at Eton. In addition to his brother Michael, Spencer has
another older brother, James Spencer Matthews who was a racing car driver and
is married to Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Catherine, Princess of Wales.
Spencer also has an older half-sister, Nina.
Married to Vogue Matthews, Irish reality TV star, model and
TV personality, they share 3 children, one of whom was born just weeks before
Spencer departed for Nepal.
What is Finding Michael about?
On the advice of Bear Grylls, Spencer stays at Base Camp
despite having a desire to climb Everest himself.
Who helped in the search for Michael Matthews?
Spencer goes to visit Dave Rodney in the Canadian Rockies
before he departs for Nepal. Dave recalls his memories of Mike and their
journey, as well as showing Spencer the kit they were wearing at the time of
Michael’s disappearance, in the hope this might help them identify the body, if
Bear Grylls – Executive Producer
Bear Grylls had met Michael Matthews before he died, when he
had offered advice to Michael before his expedition, and encountered Spencer
Matthews as a child in school. Spencer goes to visit him on his houseboat for
advice after receiving the suspected photograph of Michael’s body.
Nirmal Purja MBE – Executive Producer
Nirmal Purja or Nims, is an experienced Nepali mountaineer
who holds the world record for summiting all 14 8,000m peaks in an astonishing
7 months. Spencer recruits Nims to help search for Michaels’ body.
In addition to those mentioned above, Spencer recruits an
experienced team of Nepali Sherpa, drone experts and guides to assist in their
quest to bring Michael Matthews home.
Did they find Michael Matthews?
Before the search team even step foot above Everest Base
Camp, the local Sherpa team were able to identify the photograph sent to the
Matthews family. They recognised this body immediately as that of an unknown
This was a blow for Spencer, but their attempt continued
regardless. Using drones to scour the vast search area and traversing on foot
to identify the clothing of the several bodies found, they failed to find
Michael Matthews during two attempts into the DEATH ZONE, that dangerous
low-oxygen area above 8,000m.
Sadly, Spencer did not find Mike.
However, during the course of their investigations, they came
across the body of Wang Dorchi Sherpa, a local Nepali guide. In a difficult but
thoughtful decision, Spencer decides that if they fail to find Mike, they will
do their best to retrieve the body of Wang Dorchi instead and make a difference
to the local family who couldn’t otherwise afford to bring their father, son
and brother home. In the end, this is what they did.
Finding Michael shows dramatic footage of Everest and
highlights the dangers of climbing to over 8,000m. For purist mountaineers,
Spencer Matthews and Nims Purja, with a cameo appearance from Bear Grylls, as
celebrity protagonists may be hard to swallow. However, for those interested in
watching Spencer Matthews’s personal journey following in the footsteps of his
big brother is emotive viewing and not to be missed.