Austrian mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer journeys to the Himalayas without his family to head an expedition in 1939. But when World War II breaks out, the arrogant Harrer falls into Allied forces' hands as a prisoner of war. He escapes with a fellow detainee and makes his way to Llaso, Tibet, where he meets the 14-year-old Dalai Lama, whose friendship ultimately transforms his outlook on life.
_**Twelve years in the Tibet area, 1939-1951**_ “Seven Years in Tibet” (1997) is a biographical historical drama about Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) and his time in Tibet and friendship with the Dalai Lama, a boy, just before & during WW2, as well as the build-up to the invasion of Tibet in 1950 by Communist Chinese forces and the immediate aftermath. David Thewlis is on hand as Heinrich’s German mountaineer friend. The movie’s similar to other realistic walk-to-salvation wilderness adventures, like “The Way Back” (2010). Pitt is charismatic as the pompous mountaineer who is slowly humbled in the highest region of the globe. The movie couldn’t be made today since it paints the Chinese Communist Party in a negative light; in other words, it’s truthful. The film runs 2 hours, 16 minutes and the bulk of it was shot in Argentina at the city of La Plata and the Andes Mountains in the Mendoza Province, while about 20 minutes of footage was secretly shot in Tibet. GRADE: B