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The Boston Globe


How ‘Kon-Tiki’ made its way from page-turner to big-screen drama

Call it the little raft that could.

With a crew of five Norwegians, one Swede, and a Spanish-speaking parrot named Lorita, the Kon-Tiki left the harbor at Callao, Peru, on April 28, 1947. One hundred and one days and approximately 4,300 miles later, after drifting through violent storms and shark-infested seas and enduring an invasion of small crabs, the Kon-Tiki landed on a reef off the island of Raroia, Polynesia, concluding an expedition that made its 32-year-old leader, Thor Heyerdahl, famous. Heyerdahl subsequently sold 50 million copies of his eloquently written book about the trip, and won a best feature documentary Oscar for the 1950 film account that he directed. Now “Kon-Tiki” is also a dramatic feature film, the English-language version of which will open in the Boston area on Friday.

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