Seven Years in Tibet

Synopsis: 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 di
Director(s): Jean-Jacques Annaud
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
136 min

Why must you be this way?

Why is there always a problem?

It's a good question.

Do you want to go home?

Do you want to turn around?

- Yes!

- It's the Himalayas!

How long have I been talking

about the Himalayas?

- How long?

- Far too long.

Horst, when we get there,

can you give me a hand, please?

- Yes, of course.

- Ingrid, stop it.

Let's try to make the best of this.

Where's this idiot

who's supposed to meet us?


Move! Move!

Mr. Harrer.

- I have your tickets.

- Fine.

- I'm late. Take me to my train.

- No, no, no. You don't understand.

I am Peter Aufschnaiter.

I am leading the expedition.

- How do you do?

- Here's our celebrity!

Mr. Harrer?

May I say, Mr. Harrer,

on behalf of the Reichssportsfuhrer...

...we are honored to have

such a great German hero on the team.

Thank you, but I'm Austrian.

Yes. Yes. But I'm sure that... a distinguished member of the National

Socialist Party, you would be proud to plant...

...our country's flag on the summit

of Nanga Parbat when you reach it.

Hans Lobenhoffer.

Lutz Chicken.

And a picture with your lovely wife.

And Mr.--

Horst Immendorf. Family friend.

No picture necessary.

When is the little one due, Mrs. Harrer?

About the time my husband

reaches the base camp.

Thank you.

Why don't you tell the entire

stinking country our troubles?

I'm getting on that train.

Do you have anything you want to say?


Go. Leave.

I'll see you in four months.

- Take good care of her, Horst.

- I will, Heinrich.

Mr. Harrer.

We will travel 5,000 miles.

When we reach India,

we will head for the Himalayas...

...and the ninth highest peak

on Earth, Nanga Parbat.

Germany calls it "Unserberg--

Our Mountain. "

Before us, four German expeditions

attempted it.

All failed.

Eleven climbers were killed

in storms and avalanches.

By now, the conquest of Nanga Parbat

is a national obsession--

...a matter of German pride.

July 29, 1939.

We have already made Camp Four

at 22.000 feet.

Overhead is the Reklak Glacier

and a difficult climb up the icefall.

The baby must be

at least one month old now.

I have been so confused and distracted.

I can't climb with my usual confidence.

Are you all right?


Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!

- Are you all right?

- Shall we come down?

Lost a crampon!

Go ahead!

The weather's getting bad.

We should rope up.

- Did you hurt yourself back there?

- Just a scratch. I'll lead.


Look out below!

Hold me!

Have you got me?

Hold me!

You should have told me

how bad that wound was.

I should take a look at it.

I could sew it up.

It's not your problem.

Actually, it is my problem.

- It's my life.

- What?

When you conceal a serious injury

and put my life at risk...

...I consider that my problem.

No, you put your life at risk.

I saved it, so shut up!

Please, please.

It is not your place--

Shut up!

The next time you lie

about an injury, Heinrich...'re off the team.

Try it.

August 4th, Camp Five.

Some fierce storms have passed.

My teammates are nervous

about the avalanches... we've been holed up for days.

Aufschnalter should take advantage of

this lowland weather to make high camp.

But he disagrees with me.


It seems the others don't mind

sitting here waiting...

...hoping, doing nothing.

So much time to question one's self

is not good.

I am beginning to think

this whole expedition was a mistake.

Run! Avalanche! Get out!

Leave everything!

Put that down!

We are going down now!

If they're frightened of a storm,

send them down to Camp Two.

I could summit on my own!

Peter, always give the best man his shot!

He's trying to tell us

he's the best man.

Peter, give me two Sherpas.

I can make Camp Six by tonight...

...and my final attack tomorrow!

- We are going down now as a team!

- I've earned that peak!

- I want that peak!

- As a team! That's an order!

That is an order! An order!

Follow me!

Dalai Lama photo.

Good protection.

Take it. Si Hib.

It will protect you.

No, that means nothing to me.

Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama photo.

Si Hib, take it.

Good protection for you.

Dalai Lama photo.

Good afternoon, Herr Harrer.

Well, let's hope that Germany

retreats from Poland... quickly as you did

from your mountain.

It might save you some prison time.

What is this? Who are you?

- I'm sorry, but you're under arrest.

- What charge? Failure to summit?

No. I'm afraid not.

You see, war has been declared between

His Majesty's Government and Germany.

So all enemy aliens on British Empire

soil are now prisoners of war.

- Stop, or I'll shoot!

- Hands up!

No, you don't understand!

I'm Austrian! I'm a climber!

I have nothing to do

with your silly war!

I walk myself.

I walk myself. This is an insult!

You think you have the last word,

but you don't!

Pigs! All of you, pigs!

October 15, 1939.

Reaching prison camp,

I make a promise to myself.

I will be lying beside Ingrid before

the summer solstice of the new year.

The Himalayas are right in front of us.

It will be easy to escape

and get lost in them.

My fourth escape attempt

brings me no closer to my goal.

How far did you get this time?

All I have achieved is a certain

dubious celebrity among the prisoners.

If only my hand could express

what is in my heart.

I hear the guards

are mailing letters for you.


Would you mail these?

Thank you.

Hey, Heinrich, have you read this book?

It was checked out to you.

- We need to talk to you.

- What about?

About this.

Impressive. When do you plan to leave?

After monsoon season. And you?

I see you've chosen

my route through Tibet.

The few foreigners who have tried

never came back. So, good luck.

- Would you like to come with us?

- Why?

After all, you are the authority

on jailbreak around here.

- We could benefit from your experience.

- Please, please, please.

Stop this embarrassing charade.

Every time you escape,

the patrols are doubled and tripled.

It is making life very difficult

for the rest of us.

I prefer to travel on my own,

but thanks for thinking of me.

The mailman has come.

Dear Heinrich:

Please sign the enclosed divorce papers

and send them to my lawyer.

Horst and I intend to be married

as soon as the divorce is finalized.

As for your letter, yes.

Your son, Rolf Harrer, was born

while you were climbing the mountain.

He is now two years old

and calls Horst "Papa"

When he is old enough,

I will tell him...

...his real father was lost

in the Himalayas.

It seems the kindest thing

to say considering... never wanted the child anyway.

Needless to say,

I have no intention...

...of "resolving our differences "

as you suggested.

They were resolved

the moment you left Austria.

I'm sorry you have been

imprisoned in India...

...and hope this dreadful war will soon

be over for everyone's sake.


I'm coming with you.

This is your plan?

In my humble opinion,

this is ridiculous.

Then since you are so humble,

we won't ask your opinion.

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Becky Johnston

Becky Johnston (born in South Haven, Michigan) is an American screenwriter. She attended the South Haven Public schools but graduated from the Interlochen Fine Arts High School in 1973. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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