BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Wednesday fired a propaganda broadside at a popular U.S. movie about Tibet, blasting Hollywood for glorifying a Nazi "thug" and opposing the human spirit. The attack by the official Xinhua news agency on the movie "Seven Years in Tibet" came in the form of an eight-part article detailing the Nazi ties of protagonist Heinrich Harrer, played by Brad Pitt in the film. The film is about Harrer's 1940s exploits in the Himalayan region, where he met and became tutor to the young Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader. The film shows Harrer's journey from an egotistical and selfish adventurer to a more enlightened individual. Last-minute changes were made to the film to reflect Harrer's involvement with the Nazis after German media revealed he had been a member of Hitler's party and was a sports trainer with its elite SS unit. Xinhua derided the film's makers for twisting the truth about Harrer's past. "Harrer is a political con man living on fabricated mistruths," it said. The movie amounted to blasphemy of art and was opposed to the human spirit, said Xinhua. The commentary appeared to be China's latest attempt to discredit the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing accuses of stirring up anti-Chinese violence in Tibet and trying to split the region from China. It was unclear why the unusually long attack appeared more than five months after the movie's debut. Chinese communist armies marched into Tibet in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled into exile nine years later after an abortive uprising against Beijing's rule. The Dalai Lama won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent campaign for greater Tibetan autonomy, and he insists he is not seeking independence for his homeland. Beijing is sensitive to accusations that it is wiping out Tibetan culture and has denounced several Hollywood productions about the region.