Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell
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.
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.