Seven Years In Tibet (1997)
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud | 136 minutes | drama, adventure, biography, war, history | Actors: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Ric Young, Lhakpa Tsamchoe
Lead actors Brad Pitt and David Thewlis, along with director Jean-Jacques Annaud, were banned from China for life because of this film, but both were happy to do so for the film adaptation of Heinrich Harrer’s diaries. The way Annaud incorporates authentic images of Tibet (he had secretly sent a camera crew there) into the film is impressive, and is well complemented by Pitt, who had a great acting period in his life. Between titles such as ‘Se7en’, ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and ‘Fight Club’ ‘Seven Years In Tibet’ seems to fall into thin air, but Annaud’s film only shows its true face after several viewings.
The French director always seeks out unusual projects, having previously filmed the lives of bears and people in ancient times. It speaks for Annaud that he made an attempt to sketch the life of the people of Tibet around the Second World War. History tells us that they lost their freedom to the invasion of the now communist China, but the Frenchman chooses to center the film around the friendship between Harrer and the then 14-year-old Dalai Lama, and the war-polluted world only sporadically. to portray. For example, ‘Seven Years In Tibet’ shows two people in an internal struggle. Harrer’s personal distress and his doubts about National Socialism as a current versus the Dalai Lama’s doubts of being a good leader for his people.
The film would prove to be one of Annaud’s last highlights, where he descended far with ‘Sa Majesté Minor’ via the nice ‘Enemy at the Gates’ and ‘Two Brothers’. Better to look back, because the films that the Frenchman made in the 70s, 80s and 90s are definitely worth watching.