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Seven years in Tibet Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Dec 9th, 2019


The film plays a big role in exploring one’s spirituality. This is mainly because it conveys spiritual transformation that is usually witnessed in religion. Henrich Harrer undergoes spiritual transformation as well as enlightenment in order to set a side his ego and narcissism. The protagonist abandons his pregnant wife for a mountain climbing expedition in Nanga Parbat.

However, this expedition fails. This is followed by World War II, in which Harrer is imprisoned at India’s POW camp (because he is an alien enemy). However, Harrer escapes to Tibet (Holy city of Lhasa) where he meets the young Dalai Lama who ends up transforming his life.

Unfortunately, the Chinese army invades Tibet and kills its peaceful people before signing an agreement that deny them sovereignty. At the end, he returns home a changed man after undergoing a life changing experience with Dalai Lama. This reaction paper will describe a segment of the film that was emotionally powerful as well as analyze meaning of the film (Brussat and Ann 1).

Emotionally powerful segment and why

The most emotional part of this film starts when Harrer agrees to teach Dalai Lama western ways in exchange for lessons in compassion, slowing down as well as humility. This emotional segment is further stirred by the invasion of Tibet by Chinese army that kills peaceful people. Interestingly, little resistance is observed from the peacefully principled Tibetans.

These events soften Harrer’s heart as he sympathizes with the Tibetans and their reaction to invasion. Moreover, he starts to long for his unseen son and wife, after abandoning them earlier. This shows a huge transformation in his life. The segment is quite emotional because Harrer was known to be an egocentric man with focus only to himself. However, an interaction with the young Dalai Lama transforms him into a loving, sympathetic and caring person.


Harrer abandons his wife and unborn son for egocentric motives to achieve mountain climbing dreams. However, he comes back a changed man with a longing for his wife and son. Moreover, he comes back as a gentle and transformed person. This is quite strange given that such expectations were unimaginable.

Clearly, this shows that human heart can be transformed. Moreover, this can transpire in his actions. His ego and pride diminishes after an emotional as well as tragic experience in Tibet. This happens after he fails to achieve his dream of climbing Nanga Parbat of the Himalayas. From this, it can be seen that once a source of pride is taken away, one is denied the outright opportunity to pursue his/her ego. Added to this, Harrer’s imprisonment turns his situation into desperation.

Moreover, when peter falls in love with Pema, he becomes lonely and longs for his family. At this state, he finds peace in his young friend Dalai Lama who teaches him the ways of peace, compassion and humility. Besides, he is astonished and sympathetic to the Tibetans who are invaded yet they are peaceful. All these events work to transform him into a peaceful man.


Harrer is transformed into a gentle, humble and compassionate man after witnessing all the events in Tibet. His relationship with Dalai Lama is also seen to be the turning point of this transformation. However, for this to be achieved, he is first denied the source of his pride and compassion (mountain climbing and friends). It can therefore be seen that egocentric people need to be denied their source of pride to slow them down and transform them into gentle ones (Brussat and Ann 1).

Works Cited

Brussat, Fredric and Ann, Mary. Spirituality and practice: Seven years in Tibet. 2009. Web. <>.

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1. IvyPanda. "Seven years in Tibet." December 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-years-in-tibet/.


IvyPanda. "Seven years in Tibet." December 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-years-in-tibet/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Seven years in Tibet." December 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-years-in-tibet/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Seven years in Tibet'. 9 December.

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