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Himalaya (1999)

Himalaya - l'enfance d'un chef (original title)
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An aging chief's last stand, lessons for the new, and the education of a young chief-to-be played against harsh Nature in Nepal's Dolpo. When his son dies returning from Tibet's salt lakes,... See full summary »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thilen Lhondup ...
Tinle
Gurgon Kyap ...
Karma
Lhakpa Tsamchoe ...
Pema
Karma Wangel ...
Passang
Karma Tensing ...
Norbou / Urgien
Labrang Tundup ...
Labrang
Jampa Kalsang Tamang ...
Jampa
...
Rabkie
Rapke Gurung ...
Tundup
Pemba Bika ...
Tensing
Karma Chhewang ...
Meme / Paljor
Tenzen Charka ...
Chopga
Yangzom ...
Dawa
Gyalsen Gurung ...
Chewan
Phuti Bika ...
Deld
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Storyline

An aging chief's last stand, lessons for the new, and the education of a young chief-to-be played against harsh Nature in Nepal's Dolpo. When his son dies returning from Tibet's salt lakes, Tinle blames Karma, his son's friend, refuses to give Karma his blessing as the new chief, and organizes a rival caravan to take the salt to lower Nepal to trade for grain. He, a few old men, his son's widow, his grandson, and his second son, a monk, set out on the arduous journey. Fearing storms, Karma has led his caravan out of the village before the auspicious day ordained by the lamas. Tinle's group catches Karma's before the final pass; the two stubborn men lock wills with Tinle's grandson watching. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of breathtaking beauty unfolds a classic tale of wisdom and adventure.

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

22 June 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Himalaya  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,831 (USA) (30 March 2001)

Gross:

$2,481,690 (USA) (19 April 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The director, in the commentary on the DVD, says that he was inspired by the book "Caravan Towards Buddha" by Andre Migot. This book was titled "CARAVANE VERS BOUDDHA" when it was published in 1954, but can now only be found under its alternate (English) title, "Tibetan Marches" (translated by Peter Fleming). See also "Au Tibet sur les traces du Bouddha (Collection Itinéraires)" by André Migot. See more »

Quotes

Tinle: [subtitled version] Why did you come with me?
Norbou: When you left the monastery, I remembered what one of my masters said. 'When two paths open up before you, always choose the hardest one.'
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

The simple plot, told in every culture that has any notion of the grandeur of place and power, is a grand design of human struggle and triumph, figuratively and realistically represented in the salt caravans
5 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have climbed up a glacier in New Zealand and down a mountain in Switzerland, and it was rough going for a middle-aged film critic. However, truly rough it can be if you're old, live in the Himalayas, and need to spend a couple of weeks taking your yak and salt to get some grain for winter survival.

Photographer Eric Valli's beautiful epic film `Himalaya' is the first Nepalese film to be nominated (in 1999) for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is also a heroic fable of a small community's struggle to change the guard from old to young and retain the respect of the gods. The simple plot, told in every culture that has any notion of the grandeur of place and power, may deceive some into thinking this a small cliched film. It is rather a grand design of human struggle and triumph, figuratively and realistically represented in the salt caravans that still traverse the majestic Himalayan Mountains in Tibet.

When one of the caravans tries to cut off 4 days by attempting a route reserved for the devils, the ensuing danger as yaks and humans walk the narrow path is so beautiful and harrowing that my glacier experience looks now like a picnic. Blue sky above, blue water below, and a path so dangerous indeed the gods themselves would have second thoughts. Valli's cinemascope is the perfect medium to catch the overpowering mountains and miniscule stones, both instruments of the terrible powers those gods still wield in this other world.

The actors are handsome locals, and the story is right out of Shakespeare and Howard Hawks. See this film before you get too old to breathe its artistic air.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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