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Seven Years In Tibet
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Customer Reviews:

  • Oh please! This movie wasn't very good at all
    I'm writing this review mainly to tell everyone who isn't in love with Brad Pitt that this movie was good at all. I felt as if I'd spent seven years somewhere during this movie, seven years somewhere boring. The movie had about as much plot as pigs have wings. The movie centers around Brad Pitt's character who is neither likable or really that interesting. His relationship with the Dalai Lama in this movie which was originally what the studios used to sell this movie is barely a sideline. The movie was so bad that Battlefeild Earth looks like Star Wars in comparison. I hope all you ladies out there won't drop your ... to see yet another Brad Pitt washout. If you REALLY want to see Brad Pitt by Legends of the Fall or Fight Club now those two movies were excellent....more info
  • A visual treat
    Stunning visuals and an engaging story make this film a winer. Blue-ray makes it even better, as some scenes wil take your breath away with grandeur and beauty....more info
  • Maybe I'm a [stinker], but I loved this movie
    Maybe it's not Brad's best, but I certainly thought this was a moving and emotional film. The majesty and beauty of the Tibetan plateau is directly contrasted with the harsh struggle for survival. The main character's journey is as spiritual as it is geographical and one that I think everyone can identify with in some regard....more info
  • seven years too long in tibet!
    pluses: great footage of tibetan landscape, great cinematography in general, some interest stuff about the dalai lama

    minus (here goes!): brad pitt was TERRIBLE, couldn't do an austrian accent to save his life - i hate to say it, but arnold schwartzeneggar would have been better for the part; the story line, though interesting, was exceedingly shallow and hollywood, no depth whatsoever, ultimately quite dull; extremely grandiose and so sickly pro-western culture; and why couldn't they find a young tibetan for the dalai lama who didn't...have an indian accent. and i kept hoping someone would knock off brad pitt...and the movie would end....more info

  • Pretty but two-dimensional
    Just because this is about the plight of Tibet, a genuinely important and moving subject, does not mean that it is a good film. I have to confess that I stopped watching after something like an hour; by that point Brad Pitt and companion had entered Lhasa and had encountered a couple more stock characters ('love interest' and 'man with a grievance who will betray his people') but had not yet met the Dalai Lama. I was so bored, however, I had no interest whatsoever in finding out what happened when they did. To me this film, or at least the first half that I saw, was typically overblown and ultimately shallow Hollywood: stock characters having predictable character-development experiences in exotic locations which stand in for content. Judging from the reviews here it seems to have worked for a lot of people. If you go for the blatantly obvious tugging-at-your-heart-strings kind of thing (central character starts out unpleasant and selfish, goes through difficult experiences, and gradually learns to think about others, with each step along the way illustrated by little set-piece episodes) you will probably like this. If you like films with genuinely complex characters, plot, and dialog you probably will not like this. The landscape does at least look good. If you're a Brad Pitt fan--admittedly I am not one of them--you will think he looks good too and might therefore be willing to overlook his poor acting and accent....more info
  • Read the book.
    Don't bother watching this. It is a poor recreation of a fantastic and sometimes unbelievable book. It's hard to believe this story is true; a man escapes a prison, wanders up into the mountains and becomes friends with the Dali Lama.I was so anxious to see this film, loving the book, and was so let down. It's quite boring.It's a hard book to bring to the screen anyway, so I would reccommend reading the book first. If you watch the film first, you're liable not to want to pick the book up at all, and that would be a shame as the story is wonderful....more info
  • Disturbing but beautiful depiction of the plight of the Tibetan people.
    The Chinese genocide of the Tibetans is one of the most disgusting and disturbing events in modern history, on par with the Nazi treatment of the Jews. This is doubled by the fact that the western powers did and are doing nothing as members of an ancient civilisation dedicated to spiritual practice are exterminated by the chinese.
    There are those who will deny this fact, if you are that ignorant then do not watch this film and write pathetic, twisted comments.
    If you are more of a human being then you will enjoy this film. Far from perfect, the depictions of what Lhasa once looked like before the Chinese invasion are breath taking. The film shows Tibetan Buddhist monks being shot in cold blood by Chinese soldiers. This is shocking as it should be. This is what happened to thousands of monks in 6,400 monasteries. In the words of the Dalai Lama, 1,200,000 Tibetans have died as a direct result of Chinese occupation policies.
    If you view this film and enjoy it, you might want to read of the plight of Tibet by the Dalai Lama himself. 'My Land and my People,' is an excellent book. ...more info
  • Respectful, visually stunning tribute to Tibetan culture
    The only thing more beautiful than Brad Pitt in Jean-Jacques Annaud's low-key drama "Seven Years in Tibet" (1997) is the astonishing location photography (Argentina, Canada, Austria and the Himalayas standing in for Tibet), rendered in glorious Panavision widescreen by Robert Fraisse and preserved with stunning clarity on this eye-popping DVD. Pitt, every inch the blond Aryan god, plays real life explorer Heinrich Harrer (on whose book this film is based), an arrogant Nazi bully who ran from his wife's unhappy pregnancy to conquer the Himalayas toward the end of the 1930's. Stranded there by the outbreak of World War II, Harrer found his way to the forbidden city of Lhasa, where his unexpected friendship with the teenage Dalai Lama (played with great warmth and sincerity by non-actor Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) curbed his ruthless streak and provided him with a fresh outloook on life, until he was forced to flee the country following the Chinese invasion.

    Suffering from unfair comparisons with Martin Scorsese's "Kundun" (1997), which opened shortly afterward - both movies were denounced by mainland Chinese officials - Annaud's film evokes the splendors of a remote mountain community founded exclusively on Buddhist principles (in an amusing sequence, Pitt is asked to build a movie theater without killing the hundreds of worms uncovered by his workers' excavations). It may be a Hollywoodized vision, but it's also respectful and, in places, deeply moving ("Do you think someday people will look at Tibet on a movie screen and wonder what happened to us?" the Dalai Lama asks Pitt in one of the movie's most self-referential moments). When Chinese troops invade the Tibetan stronghold towards the end of the film, they display all the arrogance and hostility which had typified Harrer's behavior until he was transformed by the example of his gracious hosts. Distinguished by John Williams' majestic score (so much better than the tuneless dirge he provided for "Sleepers" the previous year), the film also features David Thewlis ("Naked") as Pitt's climbing partner, Lhakpa Tsamchoe as the beautiful woman who comes between them for a while, and B.D. Wong as a lowly Tibetan official whose vanity and cowardice prompts the downfall of his own culture.

    Columbia Tristar's dual-sided DVD runs 135m 56s and features both a full-screen and widescreen (2.35:1, anamorphically enhanced) version - for maximum visual impact, try to see it on a 16:9 monitor. Released theatrically in a choice of Dolby Digital or SDDS, the disc's 5.1 Dolby track has plenty of energy where needed, but the sound mix is fairly subdued overall. There's also a 2.0 surround track, equally restrained. English captions and subtitles are included, but due to the film's length, no other extras have been provided, not even a trailer....more info

  • An Austrian teacher for the young Dalai Lama
    This is the true story of an Austrian mountain climber, played by Brad Pit, who left Austria in 1939 in a mountain climbing expedition for the glory of Germany. Captured by the British, and after spending two years in a British prison camp in India, he and a friend, played by David Thewlis, escape and finally wind up in Tibet. Here, Brad Pitt, becomes the teacher of the young Dalai Lama and learns humility.

    When this movie was released, it stayed in the theaters for such a short time that I never got a chance to see it. Reviews were bad. It was called too long, too boring, and badly scripted. However, someone I know who had actually lived in Tibet recommended it. I am always intrigued by places of the world that I know little or nothing about. And so I was glad that this film is available on video.

    I was pleasantly surprised. And not at all bored, even though the movie is 136 minutes long. It takes at least an hour for Brad Pitt to even get to Tibet and there are a lot of scenes involving mountain climbing and a long trek through the Himalayas. I understand the movie was actually filmed in the Andes, but it didn't matter to me. I was impressed with the scenery, the photography, the vistas. I was especially impressed with the human endurance to keep going. I was less impressed with Brad Pitt's acting. He doesn't seem to be able to portray subtle emotions. Most of the time, the audience is left to guess just what is going on iside of him. Not so with his supporting teammate, David Thewlis. This actor has a greater range and emerges more real than the wooden Pitt. The teenage Dalai Lama is wonderful. He has a way of smiling, of opening his eyes wide, of showing both childlike and mature emotions that mark him as a true professional. Hopefully, we'll see him again some time, but this movie is so specific that this might be his one-picture glory.

    I learned something about Tibet, about the Tibetan people. Their plight is now real to me. They are under Chinese rule, an old story of a weak people being conquered by the strong. I recommend this video. It's a welcome change of pace. You'll learn something about Tibet. And meet a bright young actor named Janyang Jamtsho Wangchuck who plays the Dalai Lama. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to get into it. It's worth it....more info

  • Dedicated to the people of Tibet
    This review is dedicated to the people of Tibet , and the dream that one day Tibet may be free of the detestable Red Chinese occupation.
    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....more info
  • Tibet.....You Bet
    Brad Pitt is most enjoyable to watch as he discovers the wonders of WWII Tibet. The scenery is wonderful and the story is amazing. You will love this movie....more info
  • Wow Blu-ray
    I purchased this Blu-ray, thinking it may be visually stunning. I remember the DVD was very flat. This Blu-ray was a totally different experience.
    The Tibetan costumes and scenery were stunning. I expected the dark scenes to be dull, (because of the film being older) however it was very solid. Very enjoyable, Blu-ray is every bit as good as a modern film. :)
    ...more info
  • This movie did all it could
    I was expecting the worse afterrenting this movie one night. I had seen how quick this movie exitted the movie theatre's. I had seen how quickly it came and went with barely a flick of the public's eye. I hadn't talked to anyone who had even saw it. I only knew it from previews that left me shaking my head, 'Oh Brad please' and rolling my eyes. ANd I knew it also from hearing the latenight talk shows make fun of it. I can completely understand how and why this happened. No-one wants to be preached to by a hollywood moviestar or worse have to endure a movie to serve a moviestar's ego or sense of righteousness. However times change and so did I. I learned about the horrors of Tibet through another source from an actual Tibetan Monk who had been imprisoned and tortured and still spoke of love with out boundaries. His message was extremely powerful in this form. That was two or three years ago. Since then, when I chose to awake to the horrors of the world, I have kept Tibet ever in my thoughts and prayers. I try to spread the word but I know how difficult it is in this sleeping world of America. For I was part of it. We'd all rather not know and just watch TV or go to the movies. In this light it is clear why pretty much no one wanted to see this movie, even with Brad Pitt in it. The movies are what we escape with.
    So now I watched it and I now then expected to be dissapointed in a completely different way. I thought it was going to be too hollywood and not portray the beauty of Tibet, the wisdom, and especially the tragedy that is bieng forced up on them. But this movie delivers. It is a personal story focusing on Brad Pitt's Henry who is pretty much a selfish jerk. He journeys and falls into some very bad luck and is abandoned by everyone and everything adn eventually he learns to abandon the jerk that he is. He develops a wonderful friendship with the Dalai Lama and slowly begins to open his mind to TIbet and it's heart. The movie is beautiful both in scenery and movement. It moves pretty slow but keeps a nice storytelling pace. This movie is great for anybody whether you know about Tibet or not. It's a nice story. The imagery and the music make it that much better
    I think this was Brad Pitt's best chance to win an Oscar. I guess he's just too good looking to win one. Like it matters anyway. The oscars hasn't represented the Best of Anything in over a quarter of a Century. It sold out a long time ago as evident by the beautiful Iranian gem of a few years ago The Color of Paradise not even getting a best foriegn film nomination. I guess you have to be from Italy or France or Japan or Brazil to even get consideration. Bunch of SNobs don't even get me started. But this is a great movie. A movie that makes you say why doesn't Hollywood make more of these Movies that focus on Good Stories instead of glitter. But I guess my answer is found in the success that this Movie had. Or better yet what success it didn't. I'm talking ofcourse about the Holy AMerican Dollar....more info
  • No Shangri-La
    Ever since Ronald Colman raised the bar of expectation by his not so chance encounter with Shangri-La in the 1937 movie rendition of "Lost Horizon", we have been trying to find our way back. Thanks to movies like "Seven years in Tibet", we can focus on the real issues rather than paradise revisited.

    With the release of the movie version of Heinrich Harrer's "Seven Years in Tibet" we are presented with a different story - one less fairly tale...Jacque Annaud's...film allows us to move away from the fantasy created by "Lost Horizon"... Annaud succeeds in bringing Tibet to life, to make it more human, more real.

    As much as the story is Harrer's, it seems inevitable that the focus moves away from him and onto the Dalai Lama. The book reads like an outsider looking at things from the outside in. The focus of the book, is all Harrer. Luckily, film has an ability to visualize the books cannot ever provide - a real immediate feel. The movie is everything and it at times almost feels like it will slide into Indiana Jones. However, the power of Tibet saves it. It almost feel like Pitt and Thewlis are out of place. The real stars are the set, the landscape and the Nepalese extras. Filmed everywhere but Tibet, the film does give its western audience a real soft landing, one that they will not get with Scorsese's "Kundun"... Hollywood does need to supply a demand and we demand epic scenes, high priced talent, a sense of the exotic. As if east meets west and the fusion of the two is greater than the sum of the parts. For the attention to detail, I can't help but sing the praises. If you can stomach Pitt's fake Austrian accent, the film is a visual delight. It would be a tempting fantasy to hope that we can preserve it...

    Miguel Llora...more info
  • a very good movie
    We enjoyed this movie trememdously. It points out the trajedyof Tibet....more info
  • AWESOME MOVIE
    You will love this movie. I cried like a baby several times. The shots of Lhasa are amazing.

    ...more info
  • A Plea for a Free Tibet.
    _Seven Years in Tibet_ (1997) is an interesting film showing the travels of the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer through the Himalayas and Tibet during the years between 1939 and 1950, based on a book by the same name. The film starring Brad Pitt as Harrer and David Thewlis as his friend Peter Aufschnaiter consists of two parts - beginning with their travels through the Himalayas and capture by the British and culminating in their journey into Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, where they meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a boy. The film follows the book rather closely, though it does take certain liberties with it, by introducing Harrer's family as a key component of the plot and showing a transformation take place within Harrer as he journeys from an arrogant and conceited mountain climber to a spiritually harmonious man who finds himself seeking his own son, who he had left in Austria, in the boy Dalai Lama. The movie also shows the brutality of the Chinese communists as they come to overtake Tibet and destroy the once great tradition of this land.

    The movie begins with Harrer in Austria as a famous Olympic athlete and mountain climber. Harrer is to set out to climb the Himalayas as a representative of the German Nazis. (It should be noted though that Harrer is a repentant Nazi and does not actively support the regime, scoffing when asked to carry the swastika flag.) While climbing Harrer saves the life of his associate Aufschnaiter; however, he has been injured and as a result nearly causes his death. This conflict between the two is to play some role in the movie and eventually to lead to Harrer's repentance and redemption. As World War II breaks out between the British and the Germans, Harrer and his climbing team are taken as prisoners of war by the British who control India. They are forced to live in a special camp and Harrer frequently tries to escape but to no avail. While in the camp, Harrer receives letters from his son, but soon learns that he has neglected his duties as parent and husband. At one point, it is decided by a group of prisoners including Harrer and Aufschnaiter that they should plan an escape. They succeed in doing so and manage to escape into the mountains. The group becomes separated however later Harrer and Aufschnaiter are to meet up and continue onwards to Lhasa in Tibet. Throughout their travels they encounter various hardships and are repeatedly harassed by officials from Tibet who despise them as foreigners wanting to maintain Tibetan neutrality. Finally, they make their way into Lhasa, where they are given a warm welcome by a man and his wife there. While in Lhasa, Aufschnaiter meets and marries a Tibetan girl (this does not occur in the book) and both become actively employed. One day the Dalai Lama, who has been watching the new visitors through a telescope, invites Harrer to visit him. Instantly, Harrer and the Dalai Lama realize that they are to become good friends and quickly they dismiss with protocol and embrace an informal relationship. The Dalai Lama asks for Harrer to build him a theater so that he may use his projector and to tutor him, providing him with knowledge of geography, current events, and science. The movie mostly focuses around this relationship between the Dalai Lama and Harrer. Eventually, the Chinese communists come to Tibet and after defeating the meager Tibetan army (the soldiery of a truly peace-loving people) manage to install their brutal dictatorship in Tibet. The Chinese have no respect for the noble Buddhist traditions of the Tibetans and at one point a Chinese official comments that "Religion is poison!". Such is the truly evil nature of the Chinese communists. The Dalai Lama attempts to maintain a peaceful relationship with them and to rule over his people. Harrer undergoes a spiritual transformation and at one point notes that the only times he has felt truly at peace are while climbing mountains and while in the presence of His Holiness. From there, Harrer travels back to Austria where he rejoins his son.

    This movie is an excellent film which shows the conflict between the traditional Tibetan culture and the totalitarianisms of the Twentieth century. The movie also shows the inner conflict in one man and the resolution of this conflict as he tries to achieve inner peace. While the movie does take some liberties with the book and with the actual events of Harrer's life, it nevertheless offers a fascinating dramatization of the Tibetan people, their culture, and their religion.

    Today the Tibetans continue to be oppressed by the Chinese communists as this once noble culture is crushed by the forces of true evil. However, many in the West have become aware of this presence and are attempting to use their influence to restore Tibet to the Tibetan people.
    ...more info
  • stunning visual and emotional tale
    some may thank i over rate this film but first lets break the film down:the cinematography is beatiful.the film is based on a true story.its a great drama adventure film that should be told and heard.This film will just draw you in all the way to the climatic ending.all in all i ususally dont take up to these films but trust me and get this one its what your dvd was made for.the picture and sound quality compliment the stunning visuals and sound of the film....more info
  • Great Movie Made Outstanding by Blu-Ray
    I've seen this movie in the past and always found it interesting on many different levels so when I found out it was coming out on Blu-Ray I quickly purchased it. From the first panoramic scenes the detail and clarity is simply amazing. Anyone remotely interested in this movie should buy this. Another great example of why High Def on Blu-Ray is a whole other experience....more info
  • The story of one man's remarkable journey
    Seven Years in Tibet, being a true account, is a tale of journeys, both a physical journey and a spiritual one. The film centers around the selfish and arrogant Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt), an Austrian who joins an expedition to climb Nanga Parbat in British India in 1939. When World War Two breaks out, he is arrested with his team and interned in India. Finally he and his friend escape and make their way into Tibet, the remote country of which few foreigners had ever entered. After a harrowing and near death two year trek across the remote regions of Tibet, Harrer and his companion arrive in the forbidden city of Lhasa, home to the Dalai Lama of Tibet. After a few more years of living amongst the Tibetan people, Harrer is forced to leave after the Communist Chinese invade Tibet.

    The movie does an excellent job of developing Harrer's character, who goes from being a lonely man who cares only for himself and his own personal glory, to a man who after encountering the gentle spirituality of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama, becomes a man who is at peace with himself and has attained his own level of self knowledge. While some may criticize Harrer as he was a member of the Nazi party, the film shows that he didnt really have any involvement with the party, and didn't seem too interested in the theories put forth by his country at the time. Besides, how can a man become friends with the gentlest people on earth and best friends with the human incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion if he is a man of hatred and racism?

    The film also realistically shows the true brutal nature of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Scenes of cultural destruction and genocide show the tragedy that engulfed Tibet, and that still continues to this day.
    The actor playing the young Dalai Lama also does a wonderful job, playing the part with convincing compassion, wisdom and youthful earnestness that made him into one of today's most respected leaders.

    One of the best aspects of the film is it's photography and eye for detail. Spendid shots of mountains (although filmed in the Andes, it is uncanningly identical to Tibetan Himalaya.), mist shrouded valleys, and the grand Potala Palace that towers high above Lhasa, create a visually stunning film....more info

  • how to please someone
    My partner described liking this film after finding the book in my collection, and said she'd only had a copy on an old video cassette in the attic, so, it was absolutely brilliant to be able to find it on your site and have it delivered within a couple of days to our house as a surprise present. Many thanks Paul ...more info
  • Epic introspective journey into one's self
    "Seven Years in Tibet" starts just like a modern version of an old Humphrey Bogart movie - from the technical point of view. Snip: (...)...more info
  • Freedom for Tibet
    story of Herman Hesse journey to Tibet; he lived in Lhasa from 1944-1951 befiending a young Dalai Lama. Wonderful scenery, excellent cast. Shows Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion of 1959....more info
  • Slow to start, but picks up later
    The story was interesting, but there are several parts that don't make immediate sense. You have to just wait a moment and it gets explained soon after the confusing scene. It's a movie that makes you smile, chuckle, shake your head in disbelief. Wonderful to see the relationship between "Henry" and His Holiness....more info
  • Adventure at the top of the world...
    This film might turn out to be one of the underrated movies of our time. Here, one can find some of the best works behind the camera lens. One would also be hard-pressed to find a single bad performance. I must admit one of my reservations from outrightly buying the film was because it starred Brad Pitt, (good looks, lightweight acting) but I was wrong. He did pretty well though I believe he was really unsuited for that role. His Austrian-German accent is not perfect, and it does not have to be as it is an English language film anyway. If it's lengthy (and I was warned about this) it had a story to convey and essential to the progression of the film. Jean-Jacques Annaud's direction goes a long way in bringing reality to the screen, without the fantasy usually associated with Tibet brought on by works like John Huston's "Lost Horizon" (made into a film in 1937 to wide acclaim). But then, Heinrich Harrer's story is no fantasy. The purification and redemption of an Austrian Olympic mountaineer/adventurer's life, from overweening self-assurance, a Nazi party member (and a decorated one at that) to hardship and disappointment and privation...and never trying to attain nirvana but merely trying to make one's way in an uncomprehending world is his journey to self-discovery. The film gives a superficial though intense contemporary glimpse of Tibetan history and life/customs like one would normally encounter in the old editions of National Geographic. But if you like travel and adventure to exotic places and can find some clear philosophical thinking by witnessing unadulterated cultural differences along the way, you are a lucky one--and this is a film for you....more info
  • Ugh. Makes a total mess of history.
    This movie was pure fantasy. Heinrich Harrer was a decorated Nazi, but the movie does its best to ignore this fact. "Oh sure, he was a Nazi... but, he was a GOOD Nazi!"

    At the end of the movie, Harrer's voice-over expresses regret for his political affiliation. Back on Planet Reality, Harrer was totally unrepentant.

    I am convinced that the SOLE reason this movie was so popular was because of its star. "Kundun" was far better and far more accurate in its portrayal of the Dalai Lama's life....more info

  • A Transformation of the Soul
    Heinrich Harrer's auto-biography of his war time adventures and Seven Years in Tibet is adapted to the screen by France's auteur director Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Name of the Rose, Amant, L', Enemy at the Gates) with sensitivity and grand cinematography (Robert Fraisse); this film is more of a meandering journal of Harrar's experiences, rather than your standard structured plot, focusing on certain events that transformed the man from a lonely, terribly angry individual into an aware and feeling spirit, mainly due the intimate relationship with the young Dali Lama.

    Brad Pitt portrayed Harrer with adept skill combining intensity and natural cadence, as his Austrian accent sounded authentic, his blonde hair and striking blue eyes expressing anger, loneliness and at the film's end, echoes of calmness and self awareness.

    Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian Nazi, an Olympic Gold Medallist, is used by the Nazi propaganda machine to climb the near impossible, Mt. Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, a challenge that most German climbers at the time attempted to reach her summit but never succeeded. Because of snow slides, bad weather and injuries, Harrer's team is forced to turn back, only to find England has declared war on Germany (1939), and taken prisoner by the English army, living the next three years in an Indian POW camp.

    This was an enjoyable segment of the film because of Harrer's unbending spirit and stubbornness to escape the prison. Although a mean-spirited individual during this time, these scenes depict Harrer as a focused and hard as nails character.

    David Thewlis as Peter Aufschnaiter (The Omen, Kingdom of Heaven) is a subtle actor, an actor who more than likely will not win any lead roles, however his talent and skill as an actor should and does carry many leading men. As Peter, his German accent, subtle, his demeanour strong yet sensitive. He played against Pitt's character with a touch of humility, and as all great actors do, made the lead look great. This is not to say, of course, that Pitt was bad in any way, it's just that acting with a great actor will always make you look good. Thewlis is one such actor.

    The true stars of the film are the eight and fourteen year old Dali Lama(s), Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk & Sonam Wangchuk. Both young brothers beamed that laughing curiosity and temporal wisdom which we have come to recognize in the Dali Lama. My favourite scene is Jamyang (fourteen year old) coming through the curtains with his new glasses, asking Heinrich if he looked like an egghead...very real, very innocent.

    The sadness and anger inducing message of Seven Years in Tibet is the slaughter of millions of Tibetan Buddhist monks and the destruction of over 600 sacred monasteries by the invading Chinese. A tragedy of politics and ignorance that the Dali Lama of present time has made his life mission to change, and his homeland, Tibet, achieve independence from Communist China. The powers of the world will do nothing. Why?

    Seven Years in Tibet is not a fast-paced film, but one to look at and absorb, savour its beautiful photography and ponder the many messages it communicates.

    This is a truly beautiful film.

    ...more info
  • Nice Visuals, Story
    It was nice to see Brad Pitt in such a restrained role. It's an interesting story of "Henrik Harrer" (Pitt) and his adventures getting to Tibet with his friend "Peter Aufschnaiter" (David Thewlis) and then his relationship to the young Dali Lama.

    The film is as pretty as you would expect from one in such mountainous surroundings . There are really nice colors in here and the movie looks just great on DVD, especially Blu-Ray. The story tells of Harrer's escape from the Western world and from participating in WWII. He winds up spending seven years in Tibet, hence the title.

    Finally, I thought the soundtrack was good, too, featuring an instrument I don't know but love its sound. The cinematography in here, and justifiably, gets a lot of attention, but the music is great, too. Even though I've heard it said this probably was in large part a propaganda piece for the Dali Lama, I found it a surprisingly good story and very pleasing.
    ...more info
  • Great adventure movie
    I saw this movie after I watched Kundun. I would like to tell this movie is more of adventure rather than 'story of Tibet or Story of Dalai Lama'. Dalai lama probably is seen for 30 minutes on the screen and comes after half of the movie is over.
    This story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (Played by Brad Pitt) who starts out to be cold and stubborn person and turns into humble and spritual person after his association with Dalai Lama. The first half of the movie is about adventures, trails of climbing the roof of the world. It also shows their capture (brad and his friend) as POV in India mountain and their manipulations to enter into Tibet.
    The encounter with him and dalai lama is mark of true friendship. Harrer finds solace with Dalai Lamas teaching of compassion, friendship, outlook in life. Harrer teaches Dalai lama about how modern world works from western perspective. The film shows betrayal of Tibet by their own men and also brutal atrocities of Chineese.
    The scenery is amazing. Tibetan's artistry,hospitality and customs are shown very beautifully.The spiritual journey of stubborn man is beautiful.
    However the movie suffers from few flaws. We wish the there is more interaction between Harrer and Dalai lama. The adventure is great but what is being discovered is not shown in great details. Although it is not Dalai Lama's movie but Harrers movie, we still feel this void. Neverthless, the movie is worth watching for its breath taking scenery....more info
  • Fantastic!
    I was a big fan of the book so when the movie came out, I was first in line. It always seems that movies never do the book justice but in this case, that wasn't true.

    Brad Pitt was fabulous in the lead role. As a matter of fact, I can't think of one character that wasn't great.

    The scenery was breathtaking and the dialogue wonderfully crafted. Watching Pitt's character develop and deepen was inspirational, especially when he was interacting with the Dalai Lama. As their friendship grew, the purer it got.

    The Dalai Lama himself (well the character) was truly amazing with his words of wisdom and clarity of life, especially at such a young age and in difficult circumstances.

    I wanted the movie to go on forever but all things must end. And what a beautiful ending it was! I plan on watching this one over and over....more info

  • Seven Years in Tibet
    I ran across the middle of this movie on tv, and was stuck. I bought it, watched it over and over, I bought the book, Lost Lhasa by Henrich Harrer, loaded with photos. Apparently, before he left he did survey the area, and so there is a record of the Tibetans rights to the Tibet even though China has wiped the name off the maps.

    Heinrich Harrer a mountain climber, winds up in the forbidden city of Lhasa Tibet home of the Dalai Lama, and being allowed to remain, makes friends with the Dalai Lama, and the Tibetan people.

    China invades, murders, robs, destroys the area.

    Even now they are there, the Dalai Lama isn't, and the Potola, the palace had a wall collapse from all the people going through it, the humidity.

    When I watch this movie, as I must because it is so beautiful, and the people are so delightful, I must stop at the point where the Dalai Lama starts having his telepathic nightmares--where he sees the invasion and destruction of his home town. I do pick up again at the ending where Harrer leaves Tibet for home and meets up with the son he never saw.
    It is heart-wrenching.

    The movie was so good, I had to read Heinrich Harrers book, Seven Years in Tibet--what a book, what an experience!...more info
  • A Movie that Moves Viewers Heart
    7 Years in Tibet is about a German-Austrian Mountain Climber - Heinrich Harrer's spiritual journey and his meeting with the young Dali Lama during his journey.

    Although I am not a big fan of Brad Pitt, I thought he did an excellent acting job as the character Heinrich Harrer, who many of us can identify and relate to - The goal oriented and egoistic person who life brought him down to his knees feeling separated and isolated in the foreign country - Tibet (to not spoil the story, I will let you watch the movie to figure out what happen to this character). I am also happy the main character Heinrich Harrer was acted by Brad Pitt because he is a famous movie star (that makes many others want to watch the movie and be aware of the issue Tibet has suffered).

    After I watched the movie, I also went on a google search to see a biography of Heinrich Harrer. I was surprised on how the costume and the make-up of the movie of the main characters match what I saw on the internet. It shows that the movie must have been made with great care of details to match the culture, the history and the times.

    I love the story of this movie (and probably will buy the book to read some day) because it is different from the standard "love story" comedies or the violent victory movies portraying some heroes out there saving the world. The movie is made from a true story about Heinrich Harrer's friendship with the young Dali Lama and how the wisdom from Dali Lama helped Heinrich Harrer to grow spiritually as a human being (you have to watch the movie to experience this inspiration).

    As a Chinese, I am ashamed of what the Chinese Government at the time did to Tibetans, yet I have no right to vote against their behavior and violence. I am ashamed of what the Chinese Government has done still today about not freeing Tibet, yet, I do not have a right to vote of a government that listens to my voice. My own parents suffered from separation, despair and sorrow from the same Chinese Government during Chinese Cultural revolution in the 60s. Therefore, even though I am not a Tibetan, I can understand what Tibetans must have been through - physical and emotional torture from this unconscious, egoistic entity.

    I am writing this review to let others know that not all Chinese out there are ruthless and insensitive about this issue. I care about this issue and one could only hope the nation of Tibet can find its political freedom some day. Maybe political freedom will come later. However, may I humbly ask for healing, forgiveness Tibetans have suffered all these years because resentment, hatred, if any, can only poison ourselves further and these poison can be passed on to many more generations. All I can say is if I were ever a Chinese Government official, I would have been one/want to be one who can stand up representing the Chinese Government to say, "I apologize for what my government has done. Human beings are all one. Let us show respect, compassion, integrity just like the way the Tibetan culture have shown us - Compassion, non-violence, peace." May that time come soon as the global consciousness is awakening of itself.

    Thank you for reading my review....more info