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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 Thilen Lhondup ... Tinle
Gurgon Kyap Gurgon Kyap ... Karma
Lhakpa Tsamchoe ... Pema
Karma Wangel Karma Wangel ... Passang
Karma Tensing Karma Tensing ... Norbou / Urgien
Labrang Tundup Labrang Tundup ... Labrang
Jampa Kalsang Tamang Jampa Kalsang Tamang ... Jampa
Tsering Dorjee Tsering Dorjee ... Rabkie
Rapke Gurung Rapke Gurung ... Tundup
Pemba Bika Pemba Bika ... Tensing
Karma Chhewang Karma Chhewang ... Meme / Paljor
Tenzen Charka Tenzen Charka ... Chopga
Yangzom Yangzom ... Dawa
Gyalsen Gurung Gyalsen Gurung ... Chewan
Phuti Bika 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. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Switzerland | UK | Nepal

Language:

Tibetan

Release Date:

22 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Himalaya See more »

Filming Locations:

Dolpo Valley, Nepal

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,831, 1 April 2001

Gross USA:

$2,481,690
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Soundtracks

Le Lac
Vocals by Tsering Lodoe, A. Filetta, and Lama Karma Gyurmed (as Lama Gyurme)
Music Composed and orchestrated by Bruno Coulais
(P) & © 1999 Galatée Films
Label: Varèse Sarabande
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a work of art
23 July 2004 | by ccasey-1See all my reviews

If you believe film should be an artform, then you'll love Himalaya. As the director states in the bonus audio track, the production team did not identify and write to a "target market" when developing the screen writing, they did not follow the dreary Hollywood "recipe" for film-making, and, most importantly, they did use non-actors to portray almost all the lead and back-up roles.

Tinle, the lead character, is a treasure. The first time I viewed the movie, I thought, 'what a wonderful actor.' His timing is exact yet unpredictable, his personality forceful, his face is exquisite, his form unique and authentic. A natural, I thought. Indeed, he plays himself in a quasi-autobiography, and what a wonderful character he is.

This is a movie about an ancient civilization we are losing and, sadly, will soon be lost. Really, its a documentary, and, as the director states, will certainly be used by future historians as a visual artifact of what is soon to become the lost Dolpo civilization of Nepal. The soundtrack conditions you to this heartbreaking reality.

The movie is successful on many levels: a mother's lost love (who hasn't seen her adult child since he was eight); a loving grandfather/grandson relationship, which is painfully lost; a wife who loses her husband, and a young boy who loses his father then attempts to make sense out of the loss; a young religious man who chooses the 'difficult' path over the easy monastic life; a classic confrontation between generations; and an old man whose entire life is built on strength, perseverance, and admiration, but then who ultimately must let go of it all to those who are destined to succeed him.

I loved this movie. It made me think of my mother, an artist, whom I miss dearly. Himalaya is a work of art.


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