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 »
(At 1:19:00) There is a picture of Mikhail Kalinin (Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet) in the inspector's office. It is presented as a portrait of someone who was then in office, but Kalinin had died 5 years earlier in 1946. See more »
Version released in USA is heavily cut down from 158 minutes to 122 minutes. See more »
A revolution took place and the german media never mentioned it: Except from some ignorant right wingers the general media was not willing to comment on this first major production on the topic of german prisoners of war. The original version from the fifties and the book are interesting - this movie is watchable for a big public. I appreciate the courage of the moviemakers to touch this forbidden legacy of germany. Great, heartbreaking cinema, that leaves you in tears at the end - as far as I am concerned.
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