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Seven Years in Tibet

by Vivian Rose, age 14, Arkansas

"Seven Years in Tibet" is going to be up for Academy Awards, take my word for it. Not only is Heinrich Harrer's (Brad Pitt) and the Dalai Lama's (Jamyang Wang Chuck) acting completely convincing, but the story itself is amazing.

Renowned mountain climber, Austrian Heinrich Harrer, is attempting to climb one of the highest Himalayan peaks, when his group is forced by inclement weather to turn back and descend. On the way down they are arrested by British soldiers (the story takes place during World War II) and become prisoners. After several futile attempts, Harrer finally manages to escape, and is forced to cross the rugged country of Tibet on foot, with another prisoner, Peter, who has also escaped. When he reaches the holy city of Dhasa he decides to stick around for awhile, as his wife has left him and he has no reason to return to Austria. For about seven years, he lives a peaceful life with the people of Tibet, learning their customs, and becoming friends with the youthful Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the country. Meanwhile, he thinks about his son, whom he has never met.

The historical facts in this film are depicted with a truthful flair; the culture, religion and significance of the Tibetan people add a remarkable depth to this film.

Brad Pitt was made to play this role, and Jamyang Wang Chuck was the perfect Dalai Lama. Based on a true story, the plot is well written and unique. At no point is the ending obvious.

My rating: a full 4 stars
Rating: PG-13 (some violent sequences)