Seven Years in Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet

Jean-Jacques Annaud (1997)

PG Certificate
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Our Score
This magnificently photographed Dalai Lama drama is strong on visual appeal and spiritual ambience, but makes one fatal error - the miscasting of Brad Pitt as real-life Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, whose eventful life was capped by a lengthy stay in Tibet. The camera loves him, but his catalogue model looks and ropey Teutonic accent undermine the whole movie. David Thewlis, however, is excellent as his climbing partner, and director Jean-Jacques Annaud has a fine feeling for time and place. The John Williams score (with sublime solos from cellist Yo-Yo Ma) should also be mentioned, so despite unbelievable Brad and a few dramatic implausibilities (check out Harrer's PoW camp escape), this is still quite a journey.


An arrogant Austrian mountaineer tries to become the first to conquer a peak in India that has claimed the lives of 11 previous climbers. However, the outbreak of the Second World War leaves him languishing in a PoW camp. He escapes and ends up in the holy city of Lhasa, where he befriends the 14-year-old Dalai Lama and learns the meaning of inner peace. Fact-based drama, starring Brad Pitt, David Thewlis and BD Wong.

Cast & Crew

Heinrich Harrer Brad Pitt
Peter Aufschnaiter David Thewlis
Ngawang Jigme BD Wong
Pema Lhaki Lhakpa Tsamchoe
Kungo Tsarong Mako
Regent Danny Denzongpa
Chinese `Amban' Victor Wong
Ingrid Harrer Ingeborga Dapkunaite
Dalai Lama (Aged 14) Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Pendennis Pictures LtdGuidance: Contains violence and some swearing. Available on: video and DVD