Seven Years in Tibet
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that unless their kids are fixated on Brad Pitt, the subject matter may not hold the interest of young teens. Based on one man's spiritual journey, it tells the true story of a mountaineer's experience in Tibet as it is occupied by Chinese Communists in the 1950s. The beginning of the movie shows some scenes of World War II combat, and there are images of Nazi propaganda.
What's the story?
As World War II heats up, gold medal winning Austrian mountain climber, Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) in his attempt to escape both impending fatherhood and the war, flees his country to climb the Himalayas. What was originally to be a four-month climbing adventure quickly turns into a seven-year odyssey when a sudden arrest and escape from a British prisoner of war camp, has Harrer and his German associate, Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), immersed in the new and exotic culture of Tibet. The two foreigners find contentment in the beautiful and legendary holy city of Llasa. There, the young religious leader of Tibet, the Dalai Llama, is intrigued by the yellow-haired foreigner and seeks his knowledge on the contents of the world outside of Tibet. While advising this amazing young monk, Heinrich intellectually matures and begins to learn humility, coming to terms with his estranged son in Europe.
Is it any good?
SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET is truly an epic film. At once historically accurate and emotionally honest, the movie's taut construction keeps the story moving to the point that the 140-minute is largely accessible. It offers a plethora of positive lessons, particularly the peaceful, humane teachings of the Dalai Lama that inspire Heinrich's acceptance of paternal responsibility. Despite Brad Pitt's inconsistent German accent, his portrayal of Heinrich remains as compelling as the film's breathtaking Himalayan vistas.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about Buddhism's role in East Asia and how the teachings of Buddhism motivated Heinrich to be a better father. They can also discuss World War II history and the subsequent Cold War era, and the effects of Communism in Asia.