Thursday, May 23, 2013


 Historical drama

The vessel was named after one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon who was seen as the creator of all things and intimately associated with the sea.

Thor (the h is silent so pronounced tore) continued to lead expeditions of discovery, first to the Galapagos Islands in 1952 then on to Easter Island in 1955 where paintings of reed boats sparked his interest in them. To prove that westward travel across the Atlantic Ocean was possible, in 1969 he set sail from an old Phoenician port on the coast of Morocco. The loss of some reed bundles compromised the buoyancy so the trip aboard Ra I had to be aborted.

Less than a year later Thor launched a new papyrus boat, built by Indians from Lake Titicaca who still use the same methods as in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Ra II landed in Barbados 57 days after setting off. Thor retired to Tenerife in the Canary Islands and died in 2002. He was 88 years old.

Pål Sverre Hagen: 23-year-old ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl
Agnes Kittelsen: Thor’s wife Liv, an anthropologist
Anders Christiansen: engineer Herman Watzinger
Tobias Santelmann: Knut Haugland
Jakob Oftebro: Torstein Raaby
Odd-Magnus Williamson: Erik Hesselberg
Gustaf Skarsgård: Bengt Danielsson

Heyerdahl wanted to prove his theory that people from South America 1500 years ago could have settled the Polynesian islands 7,000 kilometres to the west. This recreation of that voyage aboard a raft made of balsam wood provides an exciting insight to the harrowing experience they had to cope while putting their lives on the line.

More like a documentary than a scripted film, there is not much in the way of acting per se. More notable is the cinemaphotography and the musical score: both are top notch.

for disturbing violence sequence.

Thor could not swim and had never learned how to sail before setting off on his momentous voyage. 

In Oslo I got to see the original Kon-Tiki raft and came to the realization that crossing an ocean on something that small and so fragile-looking takes a very special kind of person. I'm not one of them.

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