Movie Review: Kon-Tiki (1950) #atozchallenge

This is my entry for “K” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. Some other “K” documentaries I’ve reviewed are Keith Richards: Under the Influence, Knuckleball! and Koch.

Title: Kon-Tiki
Release Date: January 13, 1950
Director: Thor Heyerdahl
Production Company: Artfilm

Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl had the idea that the Polynesian Islands could have been settled in ancient times by people from South America.  Most academics rejected the idea that pre-Columbian people could travel such great distances across the ocean.  To prove his hypothesis, Heyerdahl put together a crew, built a boat out of balsa logs in an indigenous style, and set forth from Peru.

The documentary depicts the Kon-Tiki’s 101 day journey across the Pacific as they traveled 6,980 km.  All the footage was shot by the crew themselves with a single 16-mm camera.  They even had a little rowboat so that could film the Kon-Tiki from afar, although they learned to tether the rowboat lest it be left behind!

What Can One Learn From Watching This Documentary:

If you’re watching Kon-Tiki in 2019, you probably already know that Heyerdahl was correct and the raft made it safely to the Polynesian islands with all its crew.  What’s surprising is how they did it.  The prevailing winds and current carried the raft westward at a brisk speed, and there was no way to go back.  Being close to the water and without an engine meant that fish came right up to the boat and were pretty easy to capture for food and water.  The downside is that sharks also came close to the raft!  By the time they got to Polynesia, the raft was moving so rapidly in the currents that they couldn’t turn it for landfall, and had to pass several islands before eventually ending up trapped on a reef.

If You Like This You Might Also Want To …:

I  haven’t tried this, but it might pair well with Disney’s Moana which focuses on Polynesian people sailing from island to island on traditional camakau.

Source: Amazon Prime

Rating: ***


2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge – Documentary Films, Part II

A: Amy
B: Being Elmo
C: Central Park Five
D: Dear Mr. Watterson
E: The Endless Summer
F: F for Fake
G: Grey Gardens
H: High School
I: Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice
J: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

If you want to read more, check out my previous Blogging A to Z Challenges:

And dig deep into Panorama of the Mountains, by checking out my:

And, if you like Doctor Who, I have a whole ‘nother blog where I review Doctor Who stories across media: Epic Mandates.

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