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Directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning

Norway, 2012

Cornerhouse, 21 December 2014


A good, old-fashioned adventure film and true to life, no doubt, after a fashion.

In the 1940s Thor Heyerdahl, an anthropologist, is told by a tribal elder that the Polynesians came originally from the East, which is to say from South America.  So he decides to build a raft and hire a crew, setting off from Peru to Polynesia to test the hypothesis, trusting only to wind and current.  It is an enterprise in the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen, one of Chekhov’s great heroes.

During the voyage, the crew encounter sharks and whales and must cope with storms, tidal waves and disagreements.  At the end they are all in sore need of a precision beard trimmer.

My understanding is that the current position is that the Polynesians may have come from South America, but it is not definite.  That’s what the genetic profiling data tells us.  Anyway, this is an engrossing adventure film.