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The Himalaya- A Chief's Childhood

A Feature film by Eric Valli

Produced by Galatée Films

Release in France : 15/12/1999

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Actors (4)

Production and distribution (5)

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Box office: Timeline

International releases (45)

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Miles from anywhere in the middle of the Himalayas, a village nestles amidst its fields of barley. Its hardy peasant population eeks out a living from the salt of the Tibetan highlands. Each year, they mine and trade the salt for grain, transporting it far beyond the huge mountains, down to the lush, rich valleys of Nepal. The annual trek is fraught with danger, testing the bravery of one and all, transforming these simple mountain folk into heroic trailblazers.


Eric Valli's beautiful Tibetan western evokes the end of a world, that of the salt caravans. What sort of musical approach should this sort of film take? Should you try to compose music with a Tibetan feel, running the risk of being picturesque? Or, like a translator distancing himself from a text's literal meaning in order to let its feeling surface, should you extract impressions from that music and mix them with more familiar sounds, in this way creating a fusion of styles at the expense of being musically correct? I opted for the second solution, an improbable mixture of Corsican and Tibetan voices, which, by dint of reworking, ended up melting, merging even. For me, this was the greatest joy of the whole adventure.

Bruno Coulais – Composer

Full credits (11)

Executive Producers :

Jacques Perrin, Christophe Barratier

Screenwriters :

Eric Valli, Olivier Dazat

Sound recordists :

Denis Guilhem, Denis Martin, Bernard Le Roux

Editor :

Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte

Music Composer :

Bruno Coulais

French Distributor :

Jean Labadie

Adapter/dialogue writer :

Olivier Dazat

Directors of Photography :

Jean-Paul Meurisse, Éric Guichard

Press Attaché (film) :

Eva Simonet

Production Designer :

Jérôme Krowicki

Costume designer :

Michel Debats

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Production language :

Tibetan, German

Coproducer countries :

Switzerland, Nepal, Great Britain, France

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (Switzerland, Nepal, Great Britain, France)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 44 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Aspect ratio :


Audio format :

Dolby SRD

Posters (1)


News (6)

Festival Selections (10)

Tokyo - International Film Festival - 2000

Tokyo - International Film Festival (Japan, 2000)


Special Screenings

Madrid French Film Mostra - 2000

Madrid French Film Mostra (Spain, 2000)


Films selected

Academy Awards - 2000

Academy Awards (United States, 2000)


Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2000

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2000)

Selection (2)

Best Cinematography : Éric Guichard

Best Original Music : Bruno Coulais

TIFF - 1999

TIFF (Canada, 1999)


Contemporary World Cinema

Locarno International Film Festival - 1999

Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland, 1999)

Selection (2)

Other Awards

Piazza Grande


Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2000

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2000)

Awards (2)

César award for best music written for a film : Bruno Coulais

César award for best cinematography : Éric Guichard


Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2000

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2000)

Team (2)

Composer of original music : Bruno Coulais

Director of photography : Éric Guichard