PG-13 | | Adventure, Drama, History
Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.
The film begins with the following statement: "In 1941 three men walked out of the Himalayas into India. They had survived a 4000 mile walk to freedom. This film is dedicated to them." This is accurate and based on historical evidence, but those 3 men were not Slavomir Rawicz or others from his largely fictitious escape story. The BBC reported in 2010: "We learned of a British intelligence officer who said he had interviewed a group of haggard men in Calcutta in 1942 - a group of men who had escaped from Siberia and then walked all the way to India. And then from New Zealand came news of a Polish engineer who had apparently acted as an interpreter for this very same interview in Calcutta with the wretched survivors. These stories are second-hand, and far from conclusive proof, but for Mr Weir [director Peter Weir], they convinced him that there was an essential truth in the story that he wanted to retain: 'There was enough for me to say that three men had come out of the Himalayas, and that's how I dedicate my film, to these unknown survivors. And then I proceed with essentially a fictional film.' This is why the film has a new title, 'The Way Back', and why the central character is not called Slavomir Rawicz."
Interrogator: Bring in the witness.
Interrogator: Do you know this man? His name?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: Janusz Wieszczek.
Interrogator: Witness, what's your relationship with this man?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: I am his wife.
Interrogator: Accused, do you confirm this?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: Yes.
Interrogator: Witness, what do you have to say about the accused?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: From his conversation,...
The original plan is to escape to Mongolia, but they discover it has a Communist government. But this government had been ruling since 1924. It is unlikely that not one of the escape party would have known this.
English, Russian, Polish
£1,327,650 (UK) (2 January 2011)
$2,701,859 (USA) (15 June 2012)