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-kilometre voyage across the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in a dangerous attempt to prove his theory that Polynesia was populated by settlers from South America.
A risk-taker since childhood, Heyerdahl (Pål 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, 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’s lacking funding for the voyage, and he himself can’t actually swim.
The film is a bold and inspiring epic with extraordinary photography by Geir Hartly Andreassen. 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 movies that restores our sense of wonder.
Norwegian filmmakers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg grew up together making short films in Sandefjord, a small town south of Oslo. In 1992 they both attended Stockholm Film School in Sweden, and in 1995 they founded their own company, Roenberg, a portmanteau of their names. They have collaborated on several commercials in Scandinavia and the United States, while their co-directing feature film credits include BANDIDAS and MAX MANUS: MAN OF WAR.