Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.
The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsawood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the ocean and settled on Polynesian islands. After financing the trips with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101-day-long trip across 8000 kilometers, while the world was waiting for the result of the trip. The film tells about the origin of the idea, the preparations, and the events on the trip. The "Kon-Tiki" was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, and "Kon-Tiki" is an old name for this god. Heyerdahl filmed the expedition, which later became the Academy Award winning documentary in 1951, and he wrote a book about the expedition that was translated into 70 languages and sold more than 50 millions copies around the world. Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times, although most anthropologists now believe they did not...Written by
It is obvious that Kon Tiki was not filmed anywhere near the west coast of South America. The cold Humboldt (or Peru) Current comes from near the Antarctic, flowing north along Chile and Peru. It then swings westward out as far as 1,000km into the Pacific. The weather off Peru is often total overcast and cold enough for sailors to wear a sweater. The film only shows lots of sun and blue skies. See more »
[Taking with two sailors in a bar, showing them a drawn about a raft]
A dozen logs or so, big balsa wood logs, and a hut for five crew. All very capable, of course. The mast, the rudder, there you go: the Kon-Tiki.
I spent 22 days on a raft. We have torpedoed. North Atlantic, winter of '43. You can't sail it or steer it. All you can do is sit there and wait to die. These logs... they are going to move against each other in the waves and eventually they are going to break the lashings. And...
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Before the closing credits, short clips are shown in which original footage shot by Heyerdahl was reenacted by the "Kon-Tiki" actors: urinating overboard in the open sea, dancing with natives under palms, portraits, and the like. Along with this, brief notes concerning each crew member's path of life after the trip are given. See more »
The original Norwegian cut (119:02 min) differs thus from the International English cut (113:38 min, which is entirely in English):
A longer walking-toward-the-foreground opening shot (2:08 min), with an almost-post-drowned extension (0:12) at the end of that scene.
A short (deleted) running naked-to-the-beach extension after the waterfall-skinny-dipping scene at Fatu Hiva. (0:09)
Extended scenes: pineapple (0:06), jungle-night-trek (0:04), waiting-in-lobby (0:12), publisher-interview (0:10), NY-apartment (0:16), phone-conversation (0:40), meet-the-crew (0:13), raft-loading (0:26, includes introduction of the envelope), and more.
End-credits are also different: Norwegian runs for 5:24, English for 6:41 min (due to additional English credits).
Great storytelling of epic 8000 km sea crossing on a raft
How I love to watch history-telling like this! What talent in both writing and film making it is! This is both epic and important.
This is the story about the amazing world famous Kon-Tiki trip crossing the pacific on a balsa-raft just to prove this happened in ancient times, made by the makers of great Max Manus.
The trip, taken on the basis of an idea of the explorer Thor Heyerdahl, was completely ludicrous and no one believed it could be done. and how could a trip like this be told better than by Heyerdahl himself in the documentary made during the trip.
Back in 1947 this was just the story the world wanted to be told after the 2nd world war and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The documentary film from the trip later won Oscar (1951), and the book was translated into 70 languages, and sold more than 50 million copies world wide.
Finally we get to see the trip dramatized as it should be. And the result is really an amazing and epic film which holds two hours of explorer-ism, excitement and awe. I think we really get to imagine how it was to be 6 persons floating on an uncontrollable raft in the middle of nowhere for more than hundred days. The bore, the awe of discoveries, the fear of weather, sharks and whales. The psychological toll, the friendship...
It's a great story and a great film which will make new generations pick up the book with the same name, before they watch the original documentary. Beautifully filmed, well played, even down to Heyerdahl incredibly bad English pronunciation. Not all is accurate. There's been a debate around the premiere about making Herman Watzinger such a wimpy character, when we actually was a Norwegain 100 m record holder and a strong guy with good looks, but the writers found the story needed heart, and not only bald and crazy feeling-less young men. I agree. Over 100 days on a raft is at least 90 days of boredom.
Thor Heyerdahl himself made this trip to prove his idea, which no one would believe, and later got famous. He made the trip though he was not only not able to swim, but actually afraid of water, can you imagine! And it also tells the story of those left behind, wife and kids.
This is the most expensive Norwegian film production ever, and the story is a Norwegian sacred explorers story, as good as they come, changing world history. Thankfully the film floats as good as the raft, and is well wort ha watch. Great manuscript, beautifully filmed, good handcraft.
The film comes in both a Norwegian and an international (English) spoken version, which gives the movie a possibility to be shown all over the world. And it will. Treat yourself to an insane, but epic trip, and get to be an explorer yourself. This is great storytelling! It loses one of 10 stars due to the irritating (though factual) English pronunciation of Heryerdahl. Not necessary to re-experience that to make a good story.
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