Opening: KON TIKI Drifts Deep Into Dangerous Waters

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, USA (@peteramartin)
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Opening: KON TIKI Drifts Deep Into Dangerous Waters

"If you take anything away from Kon-Tiki, it's how amazingly brave the pioneers of exploration were."

That's how Bill Graham began his review of Kon-Tiki, which we published recently during the Dallas International Film Festival. The film, directed by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandber, opens in limited release in the U.S. on Friday, April 26. As a brief refresher course, here's the set-up:

The film revolves around a Norwegian man's obsession with proving that someone used a raft -- not a sailboat or anything with the ability to steer -- to drift from Peru to Polynesia across nearly 5,000 miles of open ocean. The idea that anyone would set out to sea on a raft made of balsa wood logs strung together with rope was a daunting task in 1947, let alone a thousand years before. Having his theory nearly laughed at by everyone he approached, Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) decided to show that he and five other crewmen could recreate the raft and their methodology to make the journey themselves. If that idea sounds preposterous, the journey proves even more outlandish.

Is the journey worth taking? Bill concluded:

A film that clocks in just less than two hours has to give a lasting impression. I want something more than sheer entertainment that will fade away the moment I leave the theater. Thankfully Kon-Tiki gave me what I desired. Hopefully you find the journey equally as pleasing and learn that you want no part of being out on sea in a raft.

You can Bill's review in its entirety right here.

And more information about the film can be found at the official U.S. website.

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More about Kon-Tiki

Mr. CavinApril 26, 2013 4:32 PM

Some of the information about the Kon-Tiki in the quoted article are incorrect. The raft did indeed have a steering rudder and was powered by up to three sails. It isn't as if there aren't hundreds of photos and films from the trip itself, jeeze. Verification is pretty easy. If you want to, you can even see the actual vessel itself in the Kon-Tiki museum in Oslo.

cablebfgApril 27, 2013 5:39 PM

That doesn't mean they had the ability to truly steer. My information is gathered from what the film gave me. They made it very clear that they were incapable of correcting their trajectory. Yes, they had a rudder and a sail that was pretty useless at doing anything but helping them move forward. They tried, but were truly at the mercy of the ocean's currents. At least, that's how the film tells that story. Have you seen the film? If you haven't, then you are coming after me for no reason. Your issue should be with the tweaking of the reality from fact to fiction.

Mr. CavinApril 27, 2013 7:13 PM

I wasn't aware I was coming after you. I'm not sure where you inferred that I intended to correct you and not the film. I realize this is a fictional account of the excursion, and, no, I haven't yet seen it. I have seen the real footage and the original documentary. I have not read the book. Some of the facts of the book, and the doc, are contested. It's a very interesting story, and the story of the story is also interesting. This is very fertile ground, I think, for discussions of historical accuracy.