The North Face has teamed up with Legs of Steel, with the support of executive producer Phil Young, to tell the inspiring story of renowned skier Dennis Ranalter, titled Descendance.
D-RAN, as he’s widely known, is revered for his confident stance on the slopes. His freeski style and ability to merge various disciplines of extreme sports to land powerhouse tricks have garnered acclaim across the winter sports world. Raised in a rural, mountainous Austrian town, Ranaltar’s dual heritage, however, had always been a point of difference throughout his formative years. As one of the only Black people in his town, as well as on the slopes, he has experienced his share of injustices, and the feeling of being an outcast didn’t change when taking part in — and dominating — an inherently white sport.
This documentary explores Ranaltar’s journey of self-discovery and how he has managed to navigate the identity struggles of his childhood to become the illustrious freeride skier that he is today. As well as showcasing first-hand accounts from the people closest to him, it follows his emotional trip to Ghana — his father’s home — for the first time, shining a light on the power of family and how visiting your ancestral roots can have a life-changing impact on your perspective. Filmed over a two-year period, Descendance is as much of a story about the Black experience in Europe as it is about Ranalter’s life. Whilst it explores topics of race, history, and breaking barriers in the world of sport, it also touches on the everlasting escape found within the outdoors.
Commemorating the release of the film, Hypebeast has teamed up with The North Face to host an exclusive screening of the documentary in London next month as well as a panel talk hosted by Swim Dem Crew’s Peigh Asante and featuring Dennis Ranalter, Phil Young as well as Zaineb Abelque and Evie Muir from outdoor collectives Athene Club and Peaks of Colour.