5Point Film Fest: ‘North Country’
America’s oldest ski shop is celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2020 and in “North Country,” screening Wednesday night at the 5Point Adventure Film Festival,” filmmaker Nick Martini tells the story of this remarkable family business.
The 20-minute documentary details the history of the shop and profiles family patriarch Joe Lahout, who was born in 1922 in the Lattleton, New Hampshire building that still houses the ski shop.
His parents, Lebanese immigrants, opened the shop and were instrumental in the U.S. recreational skiing boom that followed World War Two, alongside Joe who came hoe mot ski after serving overseas.
A fought generation of the Lahouts, Anthony, takes the reins of Lahout’s in the film.
“Skiing is the most religious thing I do,” she says in the film, adding of his connection with his grandfather: “We have an innate connection that involves skiing and how we are wired.”
Peppered with fascinating historical footage from early ski trams and on-mountain scenes from the 1930s and 40s, it also includes a colorful section about the shop’s wild days through the ski bum era of the ‘70s and the hard-partying ‘80s. But at heart, it’s the story of a family and the story of a ski community that anybody in the Roaring Fork Valley will recognize.
5Point head of programming Charlie Turnbull called it one of his favorite titles in the 2020 lineup.
“It’s a beautiful story about an immigrant family from Lebanon and how they came to the U.S. and were a big part of the emergence of the skiing industry in the United States,” Turnbull said. “It’s a heartwarming story and an Aspen crowd will get it.”
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