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
The film's producer, Jeremy Thomas, had wanted to make the film since 1996 and was granted the rights to the story by Thor Heyerdahl before the latter's death in 2002. See more »
At one point in the movie we see the cover of a Norwegian passport, it is printed with "NORGE NOREG" and also includes additional text. This duo-language Norwegian passport was not introduced before in the 1970's. In 1947 the only text on the cover was "PASS"and"NORGE". See more »
[talking with an old man in Fatu Hiva]
Tei? Where did your ancestors come from?
We believe that Tiki - Tiki, the sun god - took us to these islands from the land behind the sea.
From east? "L'est?"
Everything comes from the east. Ocean currents, wind and sun. Tiki navigated towards the sun.
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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 »
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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