Kon-Tiki film coming to U.S. theaters

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In January, “Kon-Tiki,” a biopic about the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic 1947 journey 4,300 miles across the Pacific on a balsa-wood raft, was nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.

It didn’t win, but judging from the official movie trailer, it looks impressive.

On Friday, the film will be released commercially in the United States — but in a version that is entirely in English, rather than in the original Norwegian language.

The “Kon-Tiki” that Americans will see is not a remake: each version features the Norwegian actor Pal Hagen as Heyerdahl and is directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. The production team and cast took the highly unusual step of shooting two versions of the film simultaneously, shuttling between languages.

“The decision was a practical one for us,” Ronning said, driven by what he described as market and linguistic realities. “Given a choice between making ‘Kon-Tiki’ this way or not making it at all, after having worked on it for so many years, when you’re down to that the choice is easy.”

Click here for the full report on the nautical labor of love by the New York Times. The movie is in limited release to start, but click here to search for the nearest movie theater showing “Kon-Tiki.”

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