You should watch films about Nepal before visiting the country as movies say a lot about a country. They paint a great picture of the people and places and give the audience a general overview of the place. If you want to visit a new country, it is best to watch a documentary or a movie to get know-how about what to expect from the place and its people.
Nepal is no different. A lot of movies and documentaries have been shot in Nepal that has shown the country to the world. From telling stories about people from the mountains to showing life in Kathmandu and various other cities across the country, directors, both local and foreign, have done a great job in showcasing things Nepal offers to the world.
Today, we bring you a list of such films about Nepal, which are a must-watch before you plan on visiting Nepal.
1. Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
Hare Rama Hare Krishna starring the eternal Dev Anand is an all-time classic that shows Nepal during the hippy era. Shot during the peak hippy era, the film shows how the hippie movement’s drug culture was destroying individuals and families. The movie was an instant hit both in Nepal and India as was its song Dum Maro Dum. Shot all over Kathmandu, the movie was a grand celebration, say Nepali locals. It shows how Nepal was during the hippy era and shows how much the capital city has changed since then. A must-watch!
2. Little Buddha (1993)
This movie starring popular Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves helped bolster Nepal’s tourism in the mid to late 90s. The movie paints a picture of ancient Nepal and focuses mostly on the life of the Buddha. Shot mostly around Bhaktapur, the movie did not do well at the box office but helped bring in a lot of tourists to Nepal and Tibet as one of the best films about Nepal.
3. Himalaya (Caravan) (1999)
One of the best films about Nepal, this movie did more than what Little Buddha did; it introduced Nepal’s Himalayas to the world. Set around the untouched region of Dolpo, this was one of the first ‘Nepali’ films to receive an Academy Award nomination. It shows how a group of people from the rain shadow area of Nepal used to make annual treks with a caravan of yaks to trade salt for grain. The filmmaker Eric Valli used locals of the region for the movie, which makes the movie extra special. Foreigners who come to Nepal to visit Dolpa even today say they have come only because they watched Himalaya.
4. The Wildest Dream (2010)
The Wildest Dream is a 2010 theatrical-release feature documentary film about the famous adventurer and climber George Mallory who disappeared on Mount Everest with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine in 1924. The film shows life in the mountains and profiles Mallory and Conrad Anker, who discovered Mallory’s body in 1999. In this documentary, Anker tries to climb Everest in the same manner Mallory did in 1924. It is not a movie specifically about Nepal, but still worth a watch as it shows people the hardship of climbing a mountain over 70 years apart.
5. Katmandu, A Mirror in the Sky (2011)
This Spanish movie, as one of the best films about Nepal, paints a real picture of what Nepal is about. It does not show you mountains or temples; it shows you a harsh reality of what Nepal really is. It shows poverty, Nepal’s bleak education system and social discrimination. The movie shows the truth and is a must-watch for anyone who wants to visit Nepal… because Nepal is more than just the mountains.
6. Everest (2015)
This one is for all the climbers. The movie shows the harsh reality of what it takes to reach the top of the world. It shows the beauty of the Khumbu valley as well as the dangers of climbing a mountain like Everest. Based on Into Thin Air, a book by Jon Krakauer, the movie recounts the 1996 Everest disaster, in which eight people died on their descent from Everest. The movie lacks the nuance that the book provides, but it is still a great watch.
7. Sherpa (2015)
Sherpa is one of the best films about Nepal, a must-watch for everyone who wants to understand the people who live in the shadow of the mountains. While mainstream movies like Everest have not done justice to the Sherpa community, this documentary by Jennifer Peedom has. Focused around the life of legendary climber Phurba Tashi Sherpa, the film explores the Sherpa culture and their spiritual relationship with the mountain, as well as the heavy work and risks Sherpas take in making multiple ascents to take equipment and supplies up the mountain and make the climb possible for foreign climbers.