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Reel vs. Real: Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer

For this week's Reel vs. Real installment, we bring you back to the 1997 film about the travels and experiences of an Austrian mountaineer in Tibet from 1944 to 1951. We're sure many of you think it's somewhat familiar from the mere mention of Brad Pitt alone, so why don't we all revisit this adventure-packed biopic?

Movie poster image via Movie Posters Archive

Every wanderlust-driven traveler sets out to the world in search of a life-changing experience, perhaps something like what the late Heinrich Harrer found in his unexpected journey to Tibet shortly after World War II broke out. In 1952, the Austrian mountaineer wrote about his seven-year adventure in a book entitled “Seven Years in Tibet” which was in turn adapted into a 1997 film of the same title, directed by award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer and his cinematic counterpart, Brad Pitt. Photos via People and leakstev.blogspot.com

Like the book, the film adaptation depicts Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) joining an expedition led by fellow Austrian Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis) to Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas in 1939. Despite Harrer’s determination to reach the summit, the team was forced to retreat after the avalanche. However, upon reaching the basecamp, they learned that Britain has declared war on Germany, and were subsequently arrested by the British Indian authorities. As they were whisked away to a prison camp in Dehradun prison camp, Harrer’s seven-year, obstacle-ridden adventure to Tibet began, among the highlights of which was his friendship with the young Dalai Lama

Watch the trailer for Seven Years in Tibet below:

All information for this article were sourced from Wikipedia.

A series made for cinephiles, Reel vs. Real highlights some notable biographical films that you may or may not have watched, and puts the biopic actors side by side with their real life counterparts.

written by plasticpopsicle

2 comments

  1. servus_salyut

    servus_salyut

    I love this movie, also the whole story behind it.

    2 months ago · report as spam
  2. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    @servus_salyut I loved it too! Watched it again last night, Heinrich Harrer's story never gets old!

    2 months ago · report as spam