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Kon Tiki: the true story of one determined explorer and his crew’s 5,000 mile journey across the Pacific

“Everything comes from the east – the sun, the wind, and Kon-Tiki”

The problem with theorizing as a historian is that most of history is already in the books. To disprove a current theory with another new theory, is well, you know, too much theorizing; most publishers will turn their heads the other direction. But a determined Norwegian anthropologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) who previously lived on the Polynesian Islands for ten or so years was set on proving that South Americans traveled across the Pacific, eventually settling on the very same lands in pre-Columbian times.

After being rejected numerous times for his theory, Thor decides to seek other means to relive the same journey the South Americans did: traveling 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia. On a balsa wood raft! With the help of a really rich Peruvian man and the meeting of his future crewmember Herman (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) (also an engineer and refrigerator salesman), Thor’s destiny starts to manifest.

Not keen on the whole idea of this isolated and very dangerous excursion, Thor’s wife Agnes (Liv Heyerdahl) is obviously against the journey; in fact, everyone seems to think he is absolutely crazy for wanting to attempt something so seemingly imposible. Regardless of any opposition the next thing you know a crew of very eclectic and inexperienced guys join the very determined Thor and newly-acquainted Herman: Erik Hesselberg (Odd Magnus Williamson), Bengt Danielsson (Gustaf Skarsgård), Knut Haugland (Tobias Santelmann), and Torstein Raaby (Jakob Oftebro)—only one of them ever having any experience at sea.They built a raft using only the means of which the ancient South Americans would have, and brought only the bare necessities. Except for the parrot, who served as somewhat of an entertainment feature during the near 100 day-long voyage.

Bringing back a sort of old-school adventure-telling film style, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon Tiki is a simply gorgeous movie about one man’s determination and everything he’ll risk to prove himself. Along the way the crew encounters everything from killer sharks to glow-in-the-dark jellyfish, making it all quite suspenseful (blood spatters!). At times you’ll hate Thor for his own selfishness, but in the end it’s all well worth it. The movie is so impressive that Sandberg and Rønning have been asked to direct the next Pirates of the Caribbean V movie that’s negotiations are still in the works, which is obviously huge for the Norwegian crew.


(photo via Finnbay)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.