Seven Years in Tibet (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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If it hadn't been for Brad Pitt signing on to play the lead role of obsessive Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer, there's a good chance this lavish $70 million film would not have been made. It was one of two films from 1997 (the other being Martin Scorsese's exquisite Kundun) to view the turmoil between China and Tibet through the eyes of the young Dalai Lama. But with Pitt onboard, this adaptation of Harrer's acclaimed book focuses more on Harrer, a Nazi party member whose life was changed by his experiences in Tibet with the Dalai Lama. Having survived a treacherous climb on the challenging peak of Nanga Parbat and a stint in a British POW camp, Harrer and climbing guide Peter Aufschnaiter (nicely played by David Thewlis) arrive at the Tibetan city of Lhasa, where the 14-year-old Dalai Lama lives as ruler of Tibet. Their stay is longer than either could have expected (the "seven years" of the title), and their lives are forever transformed by their proximity to the Tibetan leader and the peaceful ways of the Buddhist people. China looms over the land as a constant invasive threat, but Seven Years in Tibet is more concerned with viewing Tibetan history through the eyes of a visitor. The film is filled with stunning images and delightful moments of discovery and soothing, lighthearted spirituality, and although he is somewhat miscast, Pitt brings the requisite integrity to his central role. What's missing here is a greater understanding of the young Dalai Lama and the culture of Tibet. Whereas Kundun tells its story purely from the Dalai Lama's point of view, Seven Years in Tibet is essentially an outsider's tale. The result is the feeling that only part of the story's been told here--or maybe just the wrong story. But Harrer's memoir is moving and heartfelt, and director Jean-Jacques Annaud has effectively captured both sincerity and splendor in this flawed but worthwhile film. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a brilliant movie , which shows the beautiful and peaceful Tibetan culture ,and then focuses on how it is cruelly destroyed by Mao's unspeakable regime.
It also focuses on the life of Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) focusing on how an arrogant and self-indulgent man learns humility and decency from Tibet , and from the boy Dalai Lama who was to become one of the greatest men of our time.
It begins in Nazi occupied Austria in 1939 . Harrer leaves to climb mountains ends up in Lhasa ,Tibet. Here we view a land of peace and spiritual enlightenment , such a contrast from a Europe which at the time was going through World War II and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II and the Third Reich , we see another monstrous tyranny ,Communist China emerge .Red China visits unspeakable horrors on peaceful Tibet , and they treat the pleas of the Dalai Lama for peace , with more and more terror.
It is interesting to see towards the end of the movie how the Red Chinese flag and portraits of Mao defacing Tibet in 1951 mirror those of the Swastika , and portraits of Hitler , at the beginning of the movie , defacing Europe in 1939.
Unfortunately Tibet is now largely forgotten by the world , and one wonders when the world will speak up against this diabolical occupation.
Brad Pitt is not too bad as Heinrich Harrer, but you may cringe occasionally at his Austrian accent. Let us remember that this film may not have been made at all without his interest and participation, and it wouldn't have been permitted the sort of budget that gave us the amazing landscapes which pervade the movie.
I suppose once they had their big star, casting went for the very finest actors they could find regardless of their status: therefore, we have two beautifully resonant performances by David Thewlis as Pitt's climbing companion and Lhapka Tsamchoe as the Love Interest.
Because this movie is about Heinrich Harrer, not the Dalai Lama, we ought not to whine about the time spent in the camp for enemy aliens (those were YEARS of his life) or the difficult scrabble to simply exist once he escaped. The shots of the Dalai Lama's early childhood are there not only to foreshadow the important role the Dalai Lama ultimately plays, but also to establish a link between the child who will befriend Harrer and the son who Harrer does not know.
The authenticity and detail of Tibetan life, dress, buildings, and so forth is rare and overwhelming. Even if it was staged, it is a good record of a lost time.
With respect to the Chinese invasion as it is filmed, let us recall what "virtues" were instilled in the Army of the People's Republic of China.Read more ›
Here is where the detailed shadings of Pitt's character are revealed, both through his amazing ability to both comprehend and display the nuances of his character and every half-smile and subtle gesture that bring his character to life. Through his interactions with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, we see Harrer change, slowly, from egotistical and uninterested to close confidant and caring teacher/father/friend. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but have you to give credit where credit is due.
The story is based on the true experiences of Heinrich Harrer and the Dalai Lama (who is an amazing speaker, if ever he wanders your way, definately check it out, he has this way of simplifying any problem to a matter of love and understanding no christian ever could). The story is poignant, as we see the impending war with China, the pathetic and futile attempts of the TIbetans to raise a military, and the inevitable conquest.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Incredible film and kind of look about history of Nepal during the tough intrusion of China during the '50 years.Published 4 months ago by Ancelot
A very enjoyable but underrated movie. The movie is based on a true story well worth seeing and apparently the two lead characters remained friends in real life long after their... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Greg B.
The DVD is only in full screen format (1.33:1) which is frustrating since it clearly says in the product title that the widescreen format (2.35:1) is available.Published 13 months ago by Sebastien Dussault
This is a wonderful movie! Brad Pitt does a superb job of acting. His accent is most believeable! I would highly recommend this film to everyone and anyone!Published 15 months ago by Maxisback
Very good dvd and lot of good memories about it I just adore it and recommanded it to all my friendsPublished 21 months ago by Claude Couillard
Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pit) has a son before he is ready. Rather than cope with the situation he runs off to India to do a little mountain climbing because "When you're climbing... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2006 by Bernie
The fact is simple that most of Americans know nothing about Tibet.
This country liberated itself from Britain but inherited many colonial scars from Britan as the Tibitan... Read more
This film is a kind of propaganda. Historycally and oviously, Tibet has been a part of China for a thousand years and Tibetean is one of Chinese group. Read morePublished on May 14 2004
I haven't read the book of the same title by Mr. Harrer, but have seen the film twice, once in English and later dubbed in German. I liked it very much, and so did my sons. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by Professor Joseph L. McCauley