Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

This is a solid movie based on a true story. In 1939, Austrian Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) leaves his pregnant wife Ingrid to go on a climbing expedition in the Himalayas. When World War II breaks out, his group is taken to a prisoner of war camp in India. After a few years they are able to escape and Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis) decide to enter Tibet. Peter marries a Tibetan woman and Heinrich is hired to build a movie theater for the young Dalai Lama. Defying tradition they interact in a very informal manner and develop a close friendship. When the communists attack in 1950, Harrer encourages the young spiritual leader to flee to India.

The film is based on the 1952 autobiography written by Heinrich Harrer. The score was composed by John Williams. Harrer died in 2006 in Austria at the age of 93. Most of the film was shot in Argentina. Martin Scorsese directed Kundun which was also released in 1997 and is about the Dalai Lama.

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