176 – Kon-Tiki expedition

spacetime coordinates: 1947 journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands

Kon-Tiki (1950  documentary)

Kon-Tiki is a Norwegian-Swedish documentary film about the Kon-Tiki expedition led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in 1947.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042650/

Kon-Tiki (2012 film)

Kon-Tiki is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg about the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. The film was mainly shot on the island of Malta. The role of Thor Heyerdahl is played by Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen. The film is an international co-production between Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It was the highest-grossing film of 2012 in Norway and the country’s most expensive production to date

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Historical accuracy

While much of the story is historically accurate, screenwriter Petter Skavlan and director Joachim Rønning both felt the need to make the story more exciting for their two-hour feature film. The fictionalized elements have been criticized; as film critic Andrew Barker commented, “It’s frustratingly ironic that Kon-Tiki’s most outrageously fantastical sequences are completely verifiable, and its most predictable, workaday conflicts are completely made up.”

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The film focuses on Heyerdahl’s theory that Polynesia was first populated with humans from Peru, but it ignores the Norwegian’s more ethnocentric speculations that the original Kon-Tiki voyage was undertaken by a race of tall white bearded people with red hair. Heyerdahl conjectured that Amerindian civilizations like the Aztecs and the Incas only arose with the help of advanced technical knowledge brought by early European voyagers, and that these white people were eventually driven out of Peru and fled westward on rafts.

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The portrayal of the raft’s second-in-command, Herman Watzinger, proved controversial in Norway. Colleagues and relatives say Watzinger in the film is unlike the real-life Watzinger, physically or in his actions. Actor Baasmo Christiansen acknowledged the physical differences with a smile. “Watzinger was tall, dark, and Norwegian Youth Champion in the 100 meter. He was everything I’m not.” In the film, Watzinger disobeys Heyerdahl’s direct order and throws a harpoon at a whale shark under the boat, but it was actually Erik Hesselberg who harpooned the whale shark, with the crew cheering him on. The film’s Watzinger, worried about the hemp ropes’ ability to hold the balsa logs together for the entire voyage, tearfully begs Heyerdahl at sea to add steel cables Watzinger smuggled aboard but Heyerdahl’s book contains no such scene and Watzinger’s daughter has stated it never happened: “My father was a stout and confident man, and he never thought that way about the balsa logs and the ropes.” Thor Heyerdahl, Jr., who worked with Watzinger, concurred in the criticism of the film’s portrayal of Watzinger.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1613750/

165 – Fury (2014)

spacetime coordinates: Germany in April, 1945

fury_poster

Fury is a 2014 American war film written and directed by David Ayer, and stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal and Jason Isaacs. The film portrays US tank crews in Nazi Germany during the final days of World War II. Ayer was influenced by the service of veterans in his family and by reading books, such as Belton Y. Cooper’s Death Traps, about American armored units in World War II and the high casualty rates suffered by tank crews in Europe.

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Portrayal of history

imdb wiki

147 – The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 1939 – 1945 Warsaw, Poland

kinopoisk.ru

The Zookeeper’s Wife is a 2017 war drama film directed by Niki Caro and written by Angela Workman, based on Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book The Zookeeper’s Wife, (which relied heavily on the diaries of Antonina Żabińska, published in Poland as Ludzie i zwierzęta translated as: People and Animals 1968)., recounting the rescue of Jews from the Nazi invasion. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton and Daniel Brühl.

wiki, imdb

134 – The Way Back (2010)

spacetime coordinates: 1940 Siberia, Soviet Union  Lake BaikalMongoliaGobi Desert, the Himalayas

 

the Way Back is a 2010 survival drama film directed by Peter Weir, from a screenplay by Weir and Keith Clarke. The film is inspired by The Long Walk (1956), the memoir by former Polish prisoner of war Sławomir Rawicz, who claimed to have escaped from a Soviet Gulag and walked 4,000 miles to freedom in World War II. The film stars Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saoirse Ronan, with Alexandru Potocean, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Gustaf Skarsgård, Dragoş Bucur and Mark Strong.

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Regardless of whether or not this particular “long walk” really took place, during World War II other Poles undertook difficult journeys attempting to leave the Soviet Union. Accounts of their escapes can be found in the archives of the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, and in the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, in California. Also, several relatively verifiable and believable escapee autobiographies have been published in English, e.g., Michael Krupa’s Shallow Graves in Siberia.

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Many of the events that happen in the gulag scenes come from Varlam Shalamov’s The Kolyma Tales. (read/download PDF here)

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023114/

131 – The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

spacetime coordinates: 1949  Santa Rosa, California

The Man Who Wasn’t There is a 2001 British-American neo-noir crime film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Billy Bob Thornton stars in the title role. Also featured are Tony Shalhoub, Scarlett Johansson, James Gandolfini, and Coen regulars Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, Richard Jenkins and Jon Polito.

The original soundtrack to The Man Who Wasn’t There consists of classical music, mainly piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, interspersed with cues composed by Carter Burwell.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243133/

113 – come and see (1985)

spacetime coordinates: 1943 Byelorussia

(this one’s heavy)

come and see poster

Come and See (Russian: Иди и смотри, Idi i smotri; Belarusian: Ідзі і глядзі, Idzi i hlyadzi) is a 1985 Soviet war drama film directed by Elem Klimov about, and occurring during, the Nazi German occupation of the Belorussian SSR. Aleksei Kravchenko and Olga Mironova star as the protagonists Florya and Glasha. The screenplay by Klimov and Ales Adamovich had to wait eight years for approval; the film was finally produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.

Come and See Glasha Dancing

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091251/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_and_See

109 – Europa (1991)

spacetime coordinates: 1940’s  US-occupied Germany

Europa (known as Zentropa in North America) is a 1991 Danish art drama film directed by Lars von Trier. It is von Trier’s third theatrical feature film and the final film in his Europa trilogy following The Element of Crime (1984) and Epidemic (1987). Europa was influenced by Franz Kafka‘s Amerika, and the title was chosen “as an echo” of that novel.

europa lvt

A young, idealistic American hopes to “show some kindness” to the German people soon after the end of World War II. In US-occupied Germany, he takes on work as a sleeping car conductor for the Zentropa railway network, falls in love with a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a pro-Nazi terrorist conspiracy.

Europa employs an experimental style of cinema, combining largely black and white visuals with occasional intrusions of colour having actors interact with rear-projected footage, and layering different images over one another to surreal effect. The voice-over narration uses an unconventional second-person narrative imitative of a hypnotist

The film’s characters, music, dialogue, and plot are self-consciously melodramatic and ironically imitative of film noir conventions.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101829/