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Norway, WWII: A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an aircraft battle. Finding shelter in the same cabin, they realize the only way to survive the winter is to place the rules of war aside.
As prisoner of war Clemens Forell, a German soldier during WW II, is sentenced to a labor camp in far east Siberia. After four years working in the mines he escapes from the camp (in 1949) and tries to get home to his wife and children. For three years he journeys through Siberia. An odyssey of 14,000 kilometers, set against a backdrop of desolate and inhospitable landscape, beset by danger (from both animals and humans). Constantly battling the worst nature can throw at him, Forell makes his way, step by step towards Prussia and the longed-for freedom. Sometimes riding on trains, sometimes by boat, mostly on foot, he never knows if his next step won't be his last. His prosecutor Kamenev is always right behind him, and more than once it seems that Forell is captured again... Written by
The name Clemens Forell is an alias. The real life version of Forell was named Cornelius Rost. He used a different name as he was afraid of potential trouble with the KGB when the book was released. See more »
Forell's daughter is looking at a post 1991 map, it shows boundaries of countries that did not exist as independent entities during the 1940s-50s, such as Croatia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Latvia, and others. See more »
This film is a good example of how new German cinema could be like. Though shot with a minimum of budget, the authentic atmosphere and the great landscapes, altogether with Bernhard Bettermann's very convincing acting made me enjoy this powerful adventure. The great score by Edward Artemyev, comparable to those great works of Maurice Jarre, added to the suspenseful and emotionally touching attitude. The often laconic dialogue and the very "American" (too emotional for many Germans - Americans will like it!) ending did not damage the pleasing overall impression I had watching it. In addition, "So weit die Füsse tragen" (As far as my feet will carry me) comes up with a topic that is - at least in Germany - seldomly discussed: German POW in Russian gulags after WW2. This is not a war movie! It's a single man's breathtaking adventure, returning to his family at all costs. Clemens Forell's three year walk through Siberia is a true story, which makes the film even more touching.
A strong 8 out of 10, because of the effort the filmmakers put into it.
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