Official nominee for 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
From the directors of the World War II resistance epic MAX MANUS — which became Norway's biggest hit at the domestic box office — the stirring epic KON-TIKI recounts one of the great real-life adventures of the twentieth century. In 1947, explorer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl began an 8,000-kilometer voyage across the Pacific on a balsa wood raft with a rather motley and inexperienced crew, in a dangerous attempt to prove his theory that Polynesia was populated by settlers from South America, rather than Asia as widely assumed by the scientific community.
A risk-taker since childhood, Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) is one of the last examples of the scientist as adventurer. Unable to find a publisher to print his thesis about the migration of early civilizations — much of it devised during his stay on Fatu Hiva, an island in the Marquesas — he hatches his plan to cross the Pacific on raft, just like the ancient Incas before him. Unshakeable in his determination, Heyerdahl simply refuses to give up — despite the fact that the scientific community openly mocks him, he can't find funding for the voyage, his first recruit for the raft's crew is a somewhat stocky refrigerator salesman, and he himself can't actually swim.
A bold and inspiring epic, KON-TIKI features extraordinary photography by Geir Hartly Andreassen (who also shot MAX MANUS). The visuals are suffused with a palpable sense of awe at the beauty of the natural world; seldom has a film made the night sky look so full of possibility or the ocean surface seem so teeming with life. The episodes when the crew must deal with sudden thunderstorms, a shark attack, and an encounter with a playful whale that escalates into a near catastrophe, are breathtakingly executed. KON-TIKI is one of those rare films that restores our sense of wonder.
Synopsis written by: Toronto