7.3/10
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184 user 215 critic

The Way Back (2010)

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Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Keith Clarke), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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3,149 ( 274)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Zoran
... Valka
... Mr. Smith
... Tomasz
... Irena
... Khabarov
... Voss
... Janusz
... Kazik
... Interrogator (as Zahari Baharov)
Sally Brunski ... Janusz's Wife, 1939 (as Sally Edwards)
Igor Gnezdilov ... Bohdan
... Andrei
Stanislav Pishtalov ... Commandant
Mariy Grigorov ... Lazar (as Marii Grigorov)
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Storyline

In 1941, three men attempt to flee communist Russia, escaping a Siberian gulag. The film tells their story and that of four others who escaped with them and a teenage girl who joins them in flight. The group's natural leader is Janusz, a Pole condemned by accusations secured by torturing his wife, spent much of his youth outdoors, and knows how to live in the wild. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: a cynical American, a Russian thug, a comedic accountant, a pastry chef who draws, a priest, and a Pole with night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, as well as many moral and ethical dilemmas throughout the journey towards freedom. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>, Shahob, Bellingham, WA, US

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gulag | desert | priest | india | himalayas | See All (83) »

Taglines:

Their escape was just the beginning


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

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Release Date:

21 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camino a la libertad  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,208,196, 23 January 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,701,859, 15 June 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,348,249, 15 June 2012
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When told he should be grateful, Valka says: "Gratitude is for dogs!" Stalin said a very similar thing: "Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs." See more »

Goofs

In the establishing long shot of the woodcutters, many of the prisoners are clearly only pretending to cut the logs, only tapping them with their axes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Polish, using English subtitles]
Interrogator: [presents pen to sign confession]
Janusz: No.
Interrogator: Bring in the witness.
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [brought in]
Interrogator: Do you know this man? His name?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: Janusz Wieszczek.
Interrogator: Witness, what's your relationship with this man?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [crying] I am his wife.
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.1 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tibet
Written by Burkhard Dallwitz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Soviet Schindler's List
17 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

This film tells two stories. The literal one involves a group of Gulag escapees that cross the whole Eurasian continent in order to escape from Russian oppression.

The scenery is amazing, the acting is solid, but, as it has already been noted in other reviews, the action isn't driven by dialogue. At first glance it could seem that some of the characters lack depth, it could seem that the supporting characters lack complexity and history that is so needed for emotional attachment.

But to achieve full understanding of the film, some knowledge of the history of Europe is mandatory. When the metaphor provided by the literal storyline is understood, the characters light up in a completely different light. Suddenly the unrealistically long and hazardous trip takes the revealing shape of the 50-year-long European genocide, repressions, suffering and struggle for independence; a struggle that has been wrongfully forgotten by many in the West.

Thank you for telling our story.


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