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June 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Entertainment One Presents the UK release of


Directed by Peter Weir

Starring Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong

Opening on December 26

Directed by six-time Academy Award® nominee Peter Weir, THE WAY BACK is an epic story of survival, solidarity and indomitable human will.
Under cover of a night time blizzard, seven prisoners caught up in Stalin’s Reign of Terror escape a Soviet Gulag in 1940. They are now free men and almost certainly, dead men… for their impending trek to safety defies any reasonable chance of success and the landscape they must cross is unforgiving. With little food or equipment, and no certainty of their location or intended direction, they embark on a journey that will present unimaginable hardship and drama. Driven by base animal instincts—survival and fear—while relying on evolved human traits—compassion and trust—the group endures transformative experiences that are profound and abysmal, anguished and ecstatic. All the while, they abide by one unceasing mandate: keep moving, keep moving, keep moving…
Shot in Bulgaria, Morocco and India, the film stars Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell. Academy Award® nominee Saoirse Ronan and Mark Strong co-star. The film is inspired by Slavomir Rawicz’s acclaimed book The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, as well as first-person accounts and anecdotes gathered by Peter Weir and executive producer Keith Clarke.

THE WAY BACK opens at cinemas nationwide in the UK and Ireland on 26 December 2010

Running time: 133 minutes / Certificate: TBC / Images:

Review of THE WAY BACK By Patrick Quigley:

It’s not a Polish film, but it’s the first big studio film about Poles in the Gulag and is important. The presence of two Irish actors is also an Irish-Polish event we should promote.

In the early 1950s a Polish cabinet maker in Nottingham revealed his life story to an English journalist. Slavomir Rawicz had been imprisoned as a Polish officer in Siberia during World War 2. He told of his escape with a group of fellow prisoners on a 6,000km trek to Mongolia and across the Himalayas to India. The story was published in book-form as The Long Walk in 1956 and was acclaimed as an epic of human endurance and survival. It is the basis for the Peter Weir film, The Way Back, starring Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell.
‘Siberia is your prison,’ a jailer warns new arrivals at Camp 105 near the Arctic Circle in 1940. The savage conditions and remote location of the labour camp make escape almost impossible. Even if escapees manage to evade dogs, guards and hostile natives, they are thousands of kilometres from any safe place. Any escape could only end in starvation and death.
The Way Back is one of those films that can be enjoyed as a story of survival against almost impossible odds. The top-class performances from Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan are only surpassed by veteran Ed Harris as an American who came to Moscow to help build the Metro and ended up in prison.
Peter Weir directs with the experience of a lifetime in film since The Cars That Ate Paris and Picnic at Hanging Rock in 1975. He went on to direct classics that challenged conventional views of history and the media – Gallipoli (1981), The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), and The Truman Show (1998). In 2005 he directed Russell Crowe in Master and Commander.
The Way Back is not a mould-breaking work in the manner of some of his best films. The characters are one-dimensional and the story of escape and conflict against man and nature is straight-forward. The main insight into the characters is provided by Irena (Saoirse Ronan) when she asks Ed Harris: “don’t you talk to each other?” He responds with a grunt. When you’re battling against a vicious super-power and implacable nature there isn’t much space for psychological niceties.

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