Himalaya is a Nepalese film produced by Christophe Barratier and Jacques Perrin. The film was written and directed by Eric Valli, alongside co-writers Louis Gardel and Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Himalaya was shot on location in the Himalaya Mountains over a period of several months and stars several of the area's local residents. Himalaya was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2000. It was the first film produced in Nepal to receive the honor.
The film’s story takes place in the Himalayan Mountain Range in Nepal. In the cold, high peaks of the Himalayas lies a small town called Dolpa, which is home to a group of villagers who ride a procession of yaks through the treacherous mountain range. Each year, the villagers lug several pounds of rock salt down from the mountains to the valleys below to sell it for grain.
The grain that the villagers collect from their trading will be enough to keep them fed throughout the winter months. Over time, a conflict stemming from mistakes and suspicions arises between the village’s elderly chief and a brave young herdsman who is acquainted with the older man’s family. The two men battle for control of the yearly caravan.
The story of the film, Himalaya, explores the customs of the people living in the isolated region, as well as the ongoing disputes amongst humans to preserve and communicate authority to their gods. The story serves to depict the beautiful and dangerous mountain environment and the frailties of human nature. The film showcases the northern Dolpo villagers’ ways of life and several of the ancient rituals that they participate in.
Himalaya was directed by Eric Valli and distributed by Kino International. The film stars Tsering Dorjee, Gurgon Kyap, Thinle Lhondup and Lhakpa Tsamchoe. Himalaya runs for 108 minutes. It was released in the United States in 1999.