Some books we read when young make impressions that stay for life. The Long Walk - Slavomir Rawicz' tale of his wartime trek to freedom from a gulag deep in arctic Siberia to Nepal, thousands of miles south - captivated me. So I was delighted when in 2010 Australian Director Peter Weir, known for such successes as 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', 'Witness', 'Dead Poet's Society', 'Master & Commander' and many others, released 'The Way Back', based on Rawicz' story. Here was a potential 'road movie' to match the best and, unlike too many book-to-film efforts, Weir does not disappoint. By his sets and camerawork he captures much of the book's key flavours: the brutality of Stalin's penal system; the desolation that is winter in Siberia; the gargantuan distances facing the escapees; the horrors of crossing the Gobi, and the sheer scale of the barrier that is the Himalayas. His actors - led by the ever-watchable Ed Harris, with Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan in key roles - do their bit, too, playing the parts of exhausted victims of an inhuman system, driven by an almost-animal instinct to escape, keep walking, and survive. Only through the fate of young Polish girl - played by Ronan - who joins them, do these utterly wearied and hardened men recall their inner humanity, finding in it the strength to go on.
No film could portray every detail of this incredible journey. If there is a criticism it would be that the time covering life in- and escape from- the prison camp might have been better spent on the astonishing feat of crossing the Himalayas, which the film rather underplays. Still, this is a visually stunning, and largely faithful re-telling of one of the most astonishing journeys ever undertaken. To anyone who loves 'road movies' this is a must see.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Inspired by an incredible true story, this epic film of survival against-the-odds tells the story of a group of seven prisoners who escaped from a Soviet gulag in Stalin-era Russia and walked over 4,000 miles across some of the most unforgiving terrain in the world, crossing the Siberian Arctic, the Gobi desert and the Himalayas before finally arriving in British-ruled India. Actors: Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan Directors: Peter Weir Format: PAL Language: English Subtitles: English Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English Number of discs: 2
Epic drama from renowned Australian director Peter Weir, starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Mark Strong and Saoirse Ronan. The film tells the story of a group of seven prisoners who escaped from a Soviet gulag in Stalin-era Russia and walked over 4,000 miles across some of the most unforgiving terrain in the world, crossing the Siberian Arctic, the Gobi desert and the Himalayas before finally arriving in British-ruled India. This tale of human endurance and survival against-the-odds is loosely based on Slavomir Rawicz's 1956 book, 'The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom'.