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The paper outlines how "Seven Years in Tibet" chronicles the struggle of the Austrian mountain explorer Heinrich Harrer and his near fatal accident climbing the Himalayans. The paper examines the relationship between Harrer and the Tibetan community he encounters and points out how Harrer's life parallels that of the historical Buddha. The paper highlights how this film suggests that only through the unifying philosophy of Buddhism can a freer and more peaceful world be realized.
From the Paper:"Before meeting the Lama, Harrer was only focused on achieving concrete, linear objectives, like climbing mountains. He regarded politics as an irritant to his goals of climbing, despite the fact that World War II was immanent upon the eve of his departure from his homeland. Being forced to rely upon the capricious, harsh natural world of Tibet and then being nearly overcome by its power changed Harrer in unexpected ways. He was forced to abandon his old attitude of divide and conquer to life.
"Although the Lama is thought to be the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, Harrer's own life also paralleled that of the historical Buddha. Like Siddhartha, he came from a wealthy and privileged, although not a particularly spiritual, background. The Buddha also left his pregnant wife to seek enlightenment and liberation from the afflictions of sickness, old age, and death. Harrer uses mountain climbing as a way to feel alive, and cheat, if only briefly, these inevitable elements intrinsic to human existence. His climbing expedition suffered frostbite, several near-escapes from death, and had to eat raw horseflesh just to stay alive. Like the Buddha, Harrer failed to find salvation in pushing his body to extremes."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Seven Years in Tibet. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. 1997.
Cite this Film Review:
"Seven Years in Tibet": Buddhism in the Cinema (2012, June 11) Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/film-review/seven-years-in-tibet-buddhism-in-the-cinema-151442/
""Seven Years in Tibet": Buddhism in the Cinema" 11 June 2012. Web. 16 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/film-review/seven-years-in-tibet-buddhism-in-the-cinema-151442/>