Exclusive Films, National Geographic Films, Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ

Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Dragos Bucur, Gustaf Skarsgård, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Alexandru Potocean

The Way Back is a breathtaking adventure of a small group of prisoners from a World War II prison camp in Siberia who managed to escape and undertake a tremendous journey across Siberia, the Gobi Desert, and the Himalaya’s and to India on foot, over 4000 miles. Based on the book “The Way Back” by Sławomir Rawicz (1915–2004) a Polish army lieutenant who documented this personal journey of courage and endurance. With spectacular views and a great cast, this is a great adventure story.

Ah, but is it a documentary? The BBC set out to verify the validity of the story and found no record that this journey ever took place. According to the records in Russia and documents in Rawicz own writings he was released from the prison in 1942 and traveled by boat, and never went to India. As soon as his story was debunked, another gentleman came forward to say that Rawicz wrote the book based on HIS story, not Rawicz’s own story. This man was also soon debunked. In fact, no evidence of such a journey exists anywhere. Does this detract from the enjoyment of the film? To me it does in a way. This is still a great story, very inspiring and beautiful to watch. It’s a fine adventure with very good values. But the fact that it’s fiction passed off as truth irritates me a bit. It was good to watch, and I enjoyed the story, but if it had been presented as a work of fiction I wouldn’t feel so cheated.

So I am warning you in advance. This is a fairy tale. The stuff in this story could have happened, but it probably didn’t. But watch it as a work of fiction, and it is very enjoyable. The photography is spectacular and the contrast from the bitter cold of Siberia to the heat of the Gobi desert is spectacular. There are some gorgeous scenes. The ordeal is amazing, and it has all the excitement you could ask for. So I recommend it as a work of fiction, but do not consider it a documentary in any way.

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EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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Movie Review - The Way Back (2010) {PG-13}, 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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