Travel movies

The Way Back (2010)

Director:

Peter Weir

Starring:

Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell

Synopsis:

In 1941, three men attempt to flee communist Russia, escaping a Siberian gulag. The film tells their story and that of four others who escaped with them and a teenage girl who joins them in flight. The group's natural leader is Janusz, a Pole condemned by accusations secured by torturing his wife, spent much of his youth outdoors, and knows how to live in the wild. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: a cynical American, a Russian thug, a comedic accountant, a pastry chef who draws, a priest, and a Pole with night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, as well as many moral and ethical dilemmas throughout the journey towards freedom.

IMdB Rating: 7

Why watch?

For lack of infrastructure, the movie couldn't be actually filmed in Russia, Mongolia and China, but the producers did a good job recreating the weather and terrain of the original trek in more film-friendly countries such as Bulgaria, Morocco and India. You'll hardly notice while watching. The movie will help you grasp the immense vastness and desolation of Siberian and Mongolian landscapes.

Film locations:

Russia

Mongolia

Malta

India

Transsiberian (2008)

Director:

Brad Anderson

Starring:

Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley

Synopsis:

After a period of volunteer work with needy children in China promoted by his church, Roy and his wife Jessie decide to travel to Russia by train on the Trans Siberian Railway. Roy is a naive American with a great passion for locomotives and Jessie, an aspirant photographer, is haunted by her past image as a "bad girl". During the journey, they share their cabin with a Spaniard, Carlos, and his American girlfriend, Abby. At one station Roy get's off the train to look around other trains in the yard but is left behind; Jessie decides to wait for him at the next stop, and Carlos and Abby stay with her. While waiting for Roy, Carlos invites Jessie to travel to the countryside with him where they see a ruined church in the middle of nowhere. Carlos tries to force Jessie to have sex with him, and Jessie kills him with a plank. Jessie does not report the crime and meets with Roy on the next train. Roy introduces Grinko, a narcotic division detective, who is sharing the cabin with him. Jessie finds out that Carlos was trafficking drugs and scared, she tells many lies to them. However the experienced Grinko does not buy her story.

IMdB Rating: 6,7

Why watch?

Get an idea of what life is like aboard the Transsiberian Express, although I hope your experience will be better.

Film locations:

Russia

Malta

An Idiot Abroad: China (Season 1 - Episode 1) (2010)

Director:

Krishnendu Majumdar

Starring:

Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Synopsis:

Ricky and Stephen send Karl on his first trip to perhaps Karl's worst nightmare: China. The reason that Karl is so afraid of this locale is that what he is exposed to of Chinese culture - that being solely his local Chinatown - he does not understand at all, and he is afraid that if he gets a taste for some exotic Chinese food, such as toad, he won't be able to find it when he gets back home. On his itinerary is Beijing, the Great Wall of China (which he ends up believing is not great but a sham), and Shanhaiguan. Stephen also surprises him with some excursions, namely to a fortune teller (the thoughts from who Karl takes to heart despite not wanting to experience it since he does not want to know bad news in advance), on an extended trip to lesser section of the Great Wall, to a kung fu school where he is not only a spectator but also a student, and for a traditional hot massage, which is a little hotter than he would like. Karl has perhaps the most issue with the public restrooms, where there are no doors on the toilet stalls, and the food. Although he can avoid the street food which is unusual to him, he can't avoid the meal prepared for him on his remote visit to the Great Wall.

IMdB Rating: 8,3

Why watch?

Learn why you shouldn't visit the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China, and discover the charms of the abandoned, crumbled off Jiankou section. Get a taste of local food and learn some basic Kung Fu.

Film locations:

Malta

An Idiot Abroad: Trans-Siberian Express (Season 2 - Episode 2) (2011)

Director:

Krishnendu Majumdar

Starring:

Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Synopsis:

Karl takes the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to China. On the trip, he experiences a Russian steam room, undergoes Cosmonaut training, meets a magnetic man, gets buried alive, competes in a wrestling match, and visits a dwarf village.

IMdB Rating: 7,6

Why watch?

Are you sure you want to travel the transsiberian in Platzkartny?

Film locations:

Russia

Mongolia

Malta