Why was Brad Pitt not allowed to enter China for the rest of his life? Watch this movie.
Based on a true story of Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) – a mountaineer from Austria – is forced to be a pawn for the Nazi propaganda. He leaves Austria in 1939 to climb a Mt. Nanga Parbat, a mountain in the Himalayas. After a series of unforeseen circumstances, Harrer and and fellow climber Peter Aufschnaiter became the only two foreigners who come into contact with the forbidden city of Lhasa.
In Tibet, Harrer befriends the child Dalai Lama and becomes a first-hand witness to the escalation of Tibetan-Chinese confrontation with China finally taking over power in Tibet.
It is difficult to tell how much of the drama is based on real life of Harrer, but the movie carries a powerful message soonheless. The beautiful landscapes of Tibet are purely spectacular. It was revealed later that director Jean-Jacques Annaud sent a team to Tibet to secretly film footage.
About 20 minutes of it made it into the finished film. This was kept secret even after the film's premiere and not known until summer 1999. Jetsun Pema is the real life sister of the Dalai Lama and in this film, she plays the mother of the Dalai Lama and her her own mother.
Because of their role in the movie, both Brad Pitt and David Thewlis are banned from ever entering China. Is the ban worth it? You be the judge. In the scene where Harrer confronts Ngawang, the director did not tell BD Wong the script called for Brad Pitt to throw him into the dirt; Wong's reaction is priceless!
A riveting and powerful movie about a man who changes for the good and become a better person, with scenic landscapes to boot.
By Efran Baron
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