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            142 user 58 critic

            Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

            2:33 | Trailer
            True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet.


            Heinrich Harrer (book), Becky Johnston (screenplay)
            2,173 ( 51)
            Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



            Learn more

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            Cast overview, first billed only:
            Brad Pitt ... Heinrich Harrer
            David Thewlis ... Peter Aufschnaiter
            BD Wong ... Ngawang Jigme (as B.D. Wong)
            Mako ... Kungo Tsarong
            Danny Denzongpa ... Regent
            Victor Wong ... Chinese 'Amban'
            Ingeborga Dapkunaite ... Ingrid Harrer
            Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk ... Dalai Lama, 14 Years Old
            Lhakpa Tsamchoe ... Pema Lhaki
            Jetsun Pema Jetsun Pema ... Great Mother
            Ama Ashe Dongtse Ama Ashe Dongtse ... Tashi
            Sonam Wangchuk ... Dalai Lama, 8 Years Old
            Dorjee Tsering Dorjee Tsering ... Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old
            Ric Young ... General Chang Jing Wu
            Ngawang Chojor Ngawang Chojor ... Lord Chamberlain (as Ven. Ngawang Chojor)


            After the death of 11 climbers, Austrian Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) decides to add glory to his country and to the Austrian pride by climbing Nanga Parbat in British India, and leaves his expectant wife behind. An egoist and a loner, he does not get along with others on his team - but must bend to their wishes after bad weather threatens them. Then WWII breaks out, they are arrested and lodged in Dehra Dun's P.O.W. Camp. He attempts to break out several times in vain, but finally does succeed along with Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), and they end up in the holy city of Lhasa - a place banned to foreigners. They are provided food and shelter, and Peter ends up marrying a tailor, Pema Lhaki, while Heinrich befriends the Dalai Lama. They meet regularly; while he satiates the child's curiosity about the world, including Jack the Ripper and 'yellow hair'; he is exposed to the teachings of Lord Buddha, He even constructs a movie theater, while getting news of the end of the war, his ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

            Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


            At the end of the world his real journey began.

            Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

            Rated PG-13 for some violent sequences | See all certifications »

            Parents Guide:

            View content advisory »


            Official Sites:

            Official Site


            USA | UK


            English | German | Mandarin | Tibetan | Hindi

            Release Date:

            10 October 1997 (USA) See more »

            Also Known As:

            Siete a?os en el Tíbet See more »


            Box Office


            $70,000,000 (estimated)

            Opening Weekend USA:

            $10,020,378, 12 October 1997

            Gross USA:


            Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

            See more on IMDbPro »

            Company Credits

            Show more on IMDbPro »

            Technical Specs


            Sound Mix:

            Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)


            Color (Technicolor)

            Aspect Ratio:

            2.35 : 1
            See full technical specs »

            Did You Know?


            The government of the People's Republic of China condemned the film upon release. They claimed that the Communist Chinese military officers were intentionally depicted as impolite and arrogant. They also objected to the positive depiction of the Dalai Lama. See more »


            (at around 1h 20 mins) A scene depicts communist China stomping into the Holy Land. Unfortunately, the identification of "China" was wrong in the film. (1) The flag shown was for ROC (the short-lived Republic of China, founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, defeated by the communists), which was not the communist China's flag. Communist China's flag is all red with a few yellow stars. The flag shown in the movie is red-white-blue. (2) The Chinese government names, shown more than twice in the movie, said "Republic of China (4 characters)", whereas it should have been "People's Republic of China (7 characters)". See more »


            [first lines]
            Heinrich Harrer: Why must you be this way? Why, why is there always a problem? It's a good question. Do you want to go home? Do you want to turn around?
            Ingrid Harrer: Yes.
            Heinrich Harrer: Would that make... It's the Himalayas! How long have I been talking about the Himalayas? How long?
            See more »

            Crazy Credits

            As the end credits roll, a view of the mountains of Tibet is seen. See more »


            Referenced in Staring at Headlights (1999) See more »


            Sang-mo Dol-pa Nam-thar
            Performed by Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA)
            See more »

            Frequently Asked Questions

            See more »

            User Reviews

            Cinematography is absolutely brilliant
            23 March 2005 | by ss7229See all my reviews

            This movie has some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. The movie does a great job of showing the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple in Lhasa as well as the rural villages of Tibet. Not to mention the breath taking views of the Himalayas.

            Yes, Brad Pitt's accent wasn't exactly his best but it's forgivable when watching the movie. His acting was superb, portraying Heinrich's transition, which is what the movie is all about.

            The movie did lack qualities of the book, the ending was totally wrong and somewhat disappointing. And the whole Nazi part in Austria was completely unnecessary.

            Besides a few minor details, the movie is well worth the 2 1/2 hours especially if you are interested in the Chinese seizure of Tibet and the Tibetan culture and people.

            (Free Tibet!)

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