Half a century ago, young Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl became one of
history's most famous men with the Kon-Tiki voyage, an astonishing journey of
4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean on a balsawood raft. But this is not the whole
KON-TIKI is a personal tale with the world as its stage, beginning as Thor, a handsome
and charismatic figure, sails to the remote paradise of Fatu Hiva in the South Seas with his new
bride, Liv. Determined to escape civilization, the couple live as natives for a year in great beauty
and danger until disaster forces them to flee. From his days on the island, Thor sees evidence
leaving him to theorize that Polynesia had been settled by peoples travelling east from South
America, not west from Asia as previously thought.
Thor travels to New York to gain acceptance for his views, but no one in the scientific
community believes in his theory. Thor realizes he will have to prove it. Though he has a fear of
water and can't swim, he decides to build a balsawood raft based on ancient drawings and sail
it from Peru to Polynesia. Everyone continues to claim this is impossible, but Thor puts together
a fearless crew of five men. He builds the raft from nine balsa logs lashed together with hemp
rope, names it 'Kon-Tiki' after a sun god, and sets sail. The only modern equipment they have is
a radio, and Thor navigates by the stars and the Pacific currents.
Thor and his crew frequently reported home by radio, and the Kon-Tiki expedition
became an international media phenomenon. People around the globe followed the drama
taking place across the Pacific. In a sense, it became the world's first reality show. Would they
succeed in reaching their goal, a small archipelago in Polynesia? Or die trying?
We follow Thor and his crew through raging maelstroms, shark attacks and treacherous
waters. Slowly but surely they find peace, harmony and a new understanding on the open sea
as they become one with nature. Over three dangerous months, the group experiences a
physical and mental transformation: they leave Peru in suits and arrive in Raroia as the world's
KON-TIKI is about a man who starts out cataloging nature in an attempt to understand
it, but ends up surrendering himself to it in his quest for truth. We witness how Thor, through
sheer willpower, proved his theory and became a popular hero across the world. But we also
witness the price that he and those around him had to pay.
Thor's epic voyage was spectacular and captured the public imagination. He loved the
thrill of endeavor, and opened the world's eyes to both the harsh and serene beauties of the
natural world. His documentary of the journey won an Academy Award in 1951, and his book
was translated into 70 languages and sold over 50 million copies around the world. Thor's ideas
and achievements continue to inspire today.
KON-TIKI spans Norway, Polynesia, America, Peru, and the Pacific Ocean. It's a story
about choosing adventure, about daring to stand up for what you believe and simply going for
it, even when everyone says it's impossible. It depicts an incredible journey that forever
changed the men who took part in it.
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