Yakutia in Hollywood’s The Way Back with Colin Farrell and Ed Harris

A cool Hollywood movie with Colin Farrell is coming on wide screens soon. Yakutia, actually, a bloody part of its history, is depicted. Here is what Richard Laweson wrote in Defamer:

«Here’s a trailer for The Way Back, Peter Weir’s upcoming film about a ragtag band of men (and a girl) escaping the gulag in Siberia [read Yakutia’s Kolyma]. It looks a fun, throwbacky adventure yarn, complete with soaring vistas and handsome, grizzled men.»

«Specifically Colin Farrell, who’s having an interesting, quieter second leg of his career. Gone are the cheesy star-maker thrillers, replaced by nimble performances in well-chosen indies. (He was terrific in, and a deserving Golden Globe winner for, In Bruges, and had a nice, unshowy supporting bit in Crazy Heart.) Ed Harris looks typically half-bearded and flint-eyed, and that cute little Saoirse Ronin shows up as eerily adult as ever as a lost babe in the woods.»

The following abstract impressed me most. Yeah, baby. Siberia is what he wrote,

«I’m excited about the Siberia stuff, if only because I’ve been reading Ian Frazier’s Siberia essays in The New Yorker and it sounds like a brutal but oddly magical place. Sure these crazy kids eventually end up out of there and in the Mongolian desert, and later the Himalayas, but the story starts in Russia’s deep freezer, and that’s an interesting place, and a relatively unexamined time period (in film at least), to begin. This thing has finally scored a release date that gives it Oscar eligibility, so it could be kicking around come awards season. If only the title didn’t make me think of the third row of seats in a minivan.»

Oscar, you said, Oscar! I think, Siberia with all its wild beauty and uneasy life deserve Oscars as many as possible.

The movie is based on Slavomir Rawicz’s novel The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom (see at Amazon), which itself is “fact based,” The Way Back chronicles the escape of a small group prisoners from a Soviet gulag in 1940 and their journey over 4,000 miles to get home.

An amazing thing is that I am in this theme a long time. I am keeping contact with young Polish documentalists, who dared to repeat Slavomir Rawicz’s route from the Siberian city of Yakutsk to India’s Calcuta. They started their way from Yakutsk in May 2010, they went up the Lena River down Lake Baikal and now they are in the Himalayas. Awesome guys! Read about them in my post at AskYakutia.com.

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