Seven Years in Tibet


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Brad Pitt saves the west?

Field of Interest/Specialty: Asian Studies
Posted On: 06/06/2018

This Hollywood portrayal adapted from the true story of the 14th Dalai Lama's friendship with a German climber, Heinrich Harrer, is certainly entertaining. For younger students, it may be a great introduction to Tibetan culture and landscape. If you can get past Brad Pitt's painfully strained German accent, the charming relationship between his character and the Dalai Lama is heartwarming and touching. However, the film does little to portray the role the Dalai Lama had in promoting westernization and modernization in his own country and instead allows some plot holes to indicate that yet again the west was generous enough to 'help' the Tibetans come into the 20th century. The film also leaves off just as the Tibetans are invaded by Mao's troops in 1959, leaving out the exile of the Dalai Lama. As an entertaining introduction, this film might be useful but perhaps not the most historically relevant piece.