Action/Adventure - Completed 2009

Based on a true story, ESCAPE FROM TIBET, is a fascinating thriller about the young attorney JOHANNA, who by accident stumbles into the dubios and dangerous world of Tibetan refugee underground.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Action/Adventure
    • Countries
    • INDIA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 5 - 10 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Maria BLUMENCRON
    • Writer(s)
    • Maria BLUMENCRON
    • EIDR
    • 10.5240/4392-FFD9-8562-C80E-6594-S
    • Producer(s)
    • Jörg BUNDSCHUH (Kick Film GmbH), Markus FISCHER (snakefilm GmbH)
    • Synopsis
    • A boy monk is shot dead on the roof of the Tapir Monastery in Tibet. It's a calamitous misunderstanding. The bullet was not meant for him, but rather for the GOLDEN BOY, the last living Buddha in Tibet who the Chinese want eliminated. The monks at the monastery are in a panic. The Golden Boy's life is in danger and he must be brought out of the country.
      At the same time, a few thousand feet higher…while climbing her first 8,000-meter peak, the young, headstrong attorney JOHANNA (30) falls deep into a glacial crevasse and makes a harrowing discovery. As if in a holy shrine of ice, two Tibetan children sit frozen in each other’s arms, conserved forever by the subzero Himalayan temperatures.
      After being saved by her fellow climbers, nobody believes her story of the two children in the crevasse. Johanna is deemed unfit and brought as quickly as possible down the mountain to the Tibetan high plateau.
      She connects with a small group of Western Buddhism tourists who make a detour to Tapir Monastery on their way to Lhasa. There, she meets the little beggar monk TEMPA (7) who is thrown out of the monastery after stealing from tourists. Johanna then unintentionally witnesses a brutal scene: Two military policemen want Tempa's mother to pay for the cartridges used in her husband's firing-squad execution. The brave woman refuses and is beaten by the two policemen before being taken away. Tempa is now an orphan. As Johanna realizes that he can’t go back to the monastery either, she begins to doubt the supposed compassion of Buddhism. But an old abbot proposes a way out for Tempa.
      Johanna agrees to the proposal and suddenly finds herself directly involved with the Tibetan underground. In Lhasa she meets METO (29), a woman who helps refugees escape with her partner TASHI (33). Together they bring fugitives over the 6,000-meter Himalayan passes to freedom in India. The duo agrees to take Tempa into exile with a group of five other refugees. Johanna watches in awe as parents bid farewell to their children because they don't have the money to send the whole family over. The scene in the glacier crevasse is now clear to her. She knows the children were refugees who didn’t make it. Faced with the prospect of saying good-bye to Tempa, she decides to accompany the group on their trek to freedom. What they don't know is that the escape is nothing more than a clever diversionary tactic – at the same exact time, another group is bringing the Golden Boy across into exile.
      It doesn’t take long before the group begins running into trouble with the Chinese police. Johanna and Meto are arrested. In grueling interrogations the police try but fail to find out where the rest of the group is staying. Meto dies from the torture she is subjected to. Johanna is let go after three days because she is a Westerner. The police hope she will then lead them to the group but she finally manages to give them the slip and find her way back to the others. Johanna has now become the freedom fighter that she so admires in Meto.
      The situation comes to a dramatic climax in the high mountains. Just below the 6,000-meter border pass, Tashi makes an odd decision to continue over an exposed ridge. During a rest, he reveals to Johanna that he will leave their trek to go help the Golden Boy over the border. Johanna is devastated. Tashi drew the entire group into this deathtrap as part of a diversion! She demands that he keep his promise to the parents of these children and bring them over, but Tashi is sticking to his Buddhist view. This is not about protecting individuals. It is about a higher ideal, about getting the Golden Boy over the border. He leaves Johanna and the children behind as canon fodder for the Chinese mountain patrol.
      Desperate, she tries to get the group over the pass. While they are under fire from soldiers, the Golden Boy is brought to safety on the other side. Tashi ultimately comes to the rescue by setting up another risky diversion in which he dupes the Chinese soldiers, sacrifices his own life and saves Johanna and the group.
    • Partners & financing
    • World sales required
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 01, 2009