Seven Years in Tibet

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writer: Becky Johnston
Director of Photography:Robert Fraisse
Editor:Noëlle Boisson
Music:John Williams
Production Designer:At Hoang
Producers:Jean-Jacques Annaud, John H. Williams and Iain Smith
TriStar; PG-13; 134 minutes
Cast:Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B.D. Wong, Mako, Danny Denzongpa, Victor Wong, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Lhakpa Tsamchoe and Jetsun Pema
Based on the book by Heinrich Harrer

As we all know by now, Heinrich Harrer was an elite member of Hitler's SS (before World War II) who abandoned his wife and unborn child in Austria to climb mountains in the Himalayas. He was also an arrogant, selfish son of a bitch, as if that needs to be said. After escaping British imprisonment, Harrer (Pitt) and fellow mountaineer Peter Aufschnaiter (Thewlis) trek up to the Tibetan city of Lhasa, where they meet the young Dalai Lama (Wangchuk). Under the spiritual guidance of the Dalai Lama, Harrer begins to mellow and take responsibility for his injudicious decisions. Though Pitt is adequate in the film (except for the German accent he butchers), the real stars of the film are the visually stunning, lush scenery (thanks in no small part to cinematographer Fraisse) and the Tibetan people, whose plight at the hands of the Chinese army is thoughtfully portrayed.