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
Large parts of the film were filmed in two versions at the same time, one in Norwegian, the other in English, in order to secure international funding. See more »
The crew were not worried about whether the ropes would hold the float together, as it is portrayed in the film. As we can see in the Kon-Tiki documentary, the balsa wood was much softer than the rope, and it was actually the rope that ate through the wood. The result was that the rope eventually was protected by the space that had been created around it. See more »
[after he saves Herman in the wáter, both sit down on the raft]
Three years ago, I shot four men. The Gestapo found me with a radio.
It was war.
That's what Torstein says. He helped sinking the Tirpitz, but that doesn't bother him. Thank you.
You're the one who saved my life.
That's what I mean. Thank you.
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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 »
An even shorter English cut (96:01 min) was released in the USA, 23min shorter than the original Norwegian cut. See more »
As of 1/4/13, Kon Tiki is on the shortlist of 9 for Academy Award Foreign Language film; list of the 5 final nominees is expected next week.
Beautiful cinematography...including magnificent scenes of whales & sharks circling the raft.
Character studies of Thor Heyerdahl & his companions on the journey are intelligent subtle portrayals. Thor is one driven man, from almost drowning in childhood to landing on the beach on Roraia, Indonesia. Thor spent ten years with his theory that Polynesia was settled from Peru; not from Asia, the settled hypothesis at the time. Final proof came via the 1947 voyage on a raft using the same 1500 year old techniques of navigation and raft construction. While this may sound a bit dry, it is not. The passion of the participants is palpable. Each has their own reason for going on the journey; most simply falling under Heyerdahl's charisma. (Heyerdahl's 1950 documentary won the Academy Award, and remains the only Norwegian winner of an Academy Award to date.)
Though not cast based simply on physical looks (per the co-directors), several are magnificent specimens of blond 1940s fit men...and their bonding.
Every scene was filmed first in Norwegian, then in English; (US release of the English version seen is expected by the Weinstein group later in 2013.) Filming was 59 days in six countries. Audience reaction of the PSIFF screening was loudly appreciated followed with Q&A with the co-directors.
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