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.
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.
Many of the events that happen in the gulag scenes come from Varlam Shalamov’s The Kolyma Tales. (read/download PDF here)
Jodorowsky’s Dune is a 2013 American-French documentary film directed by Frank Pavich. The film explores cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s unsuccessful attempt to adapt and film Frank Herbert‘s 1965 science fiction novel Dune in the mid-1970s.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave Jodorowsky’s Dune a 98% “Certified Fresh” rating based on reviews from 108 critics. The site’s consensus states: “Part thoughtful tribute, part bittersweet reminder of a missed opportunity, Jodorowsky’s Dune offers a fascinating look at a lost sci-fi legend.”
spacetime coordinates: 1882, remote outpost in Patagonia, Argentina
Jauja is a 2014 historical drama film / art-house Western directed by Lisandro Alonso. The film stars Viggo Mortensen who also co-produced it and co-wrote the musical score. This is a period film that involves realistic costumes and the kind of beautifully crafted tools used by explorers and the military in the 1800s.
read about Jauja & the legend of the Land of Cockaigne.
spacetime coordinates: Mojave Desert, California 1998
Sam Was Here is a 2016 French-American mystery horror co-produced and directed by Christophe Deroo, making his feature debut, from a screenplay co-written with Clement Tuffreau. The film stars Rusty Joiner and Sigrid La Chapelle.