'Kon-Tiki' Trailer: Norway's Oscar Nominee Is About An Oscar Winner

Life of Pi isn't the only waterlogged nominee at this year's Academy Awards. Norway's entry in the foreign film category, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Kon-Tiki, tells the true tale of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl (played by Pål Sverre Hagen). In 1947, Heyerdahl undertook a 101-day, 4,300-mile journey from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa wood raft as part of an effort to prove that Easter Island could have been settled by South Americans.

A new trailer for the film has just hit, and you can check it out after the jump.

You may have noticed in the trailer that one of the crew members is filming the journey as it happens. Heyerdahl later turned that footage into a documentary, also titled Kon-Tiki, which went on to win the Academy Award in 1951.

Especially in the first half of the trailer, Kon-Tiki looks like it fits comfortably into the "inspirational biopic" mold. But there's a real feeling of danger once the team sets sail, and the photography looks utterly gorgeous throughout.

The Weinstein Co. has Kon-Tiki scheduled for release on April 19.


In 1947, the world is gripped with excitement as the young Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl embarks on an astonishing expedition – a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean on the Kon-Tiki raft. From his days living in the Marquesas with his wife Liv, Thor suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by ancient South Americans from thousands of miles to the east. Despite his inability to swim and fear of water, Thor decides to prove his theory by sailing the legendary voyage himself. After replicating the design of an ancient raft in balsa wood, Thor and five fellow adventurers set sail from Peru. Their only modern equipment is a radio, and they take a parrot along for company. A natural leader, Thor uses the stars and the ocean's current to navigate the raft. After three dangerous months on the open sea, encountering raging storms, sharks, and all the dangers the Ocean can muster, the exhausted crew sight Polynesia and make a triumphant landing. Having sacrificed everything for his mission, even his marriage, the success of the Kon-Tiki expedition proves bittersweet for Thor.