Steffen Bayer

Germany / 2008 / 90'

Nearly sixty years after Chinese occupation, Tibet is still a “forbidden” land, exactly like in ancient times. The film crew of this documentary managed to enter those regions that are usually inaccessible to journalists. They use Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter’s diaries as a guide. These two men’s adventure became famous thanks to the Hollywood film Seven years in Tibet. In spite of the detailed descriptions included in the diaries, finding and following the traces is extremely difficult. The ancient village where the two characters settled at the beginning of their Tibetan experience does not exist any longer. Today, in its place there are some modern prefabricated little houses and the old inhabitants have migrated elsewhere. From wherever you try to reach Kailash, you have to pass the very strict security and passport control at five different police stations. In such a way the Chinese government succeeded in drastically reducing the number of pilgrims to visit this area. This journey of about 2,000 kilometres, takes us back to the ancient monasteries, located on the plains crossed by the nomads, and allows us to have an alternative and even provocative look at this territory full of magic and contradictions.


Steffen Bayer

He is a German author, screenwriter and director who collaborates with ZDF in the editorial staff and in the production of footage and documentary films. As screenwriter he wrote the television films Rübergemacht! (2003) and Illegal (2009). His filmography as a director includes: Die Rosenjäger - Blumen unterm Hammer (2002) and Lügen auf dem Dach der Wel (2009).

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