As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me (2003)

I didn’t know a movie about a German soldier sentenced to 25 years (life/death sentence) in Siberia after World War II could be so fun.

This little known foreign (German?) flick has elements of an escape movie, a chase movie , a road movie, World War II dramas, adventure films, suspense…

Bernhard Bettermann is very good as the man who escapes from the Siberian prison and crosses thousands of miles to return home to his family.

All the while, he’s being pursued across the Russia tundra by the Soviet authorities, more specifically a relentless Russian Captain named Kamenev (Anatoly Kotenyov, a la The Fugitive’s Tommy Lee Jones US Marshal character).

It is epic in its telling, covering many countries and at least a decade or more. It even has a little buried commentary about general humanity towards the end. I’m happy to say it was worth watching.

It had the tone of one of those 70s wilderness films. The cinematography is really good here which seems almost inherent in a film like this. The landscape itself in this is at times astounding.

If this WAS (which it purports to be) based on a true story, there were a few moments that were hard to believe (and may have been embellished for arts sake). But I was sucked right in, anyway.

Despite an over the top moment or 2 (and one sequence involving ‘Irina’, played by the lovely and talented  Irina Pantaeva, that felt a little Star Trek-ianly Shatner-esque), this did move me to a surprising degree.

There is a similar (Peter Weir) film starring the likes of Ed Harris and Colin Farrell that hasn’t played in my area yet (limited) called ‘The Way Back’. It revolves around an escape from the Soviet Gulag, also, I believe. I’ll be interested to see if that one treads a lot of the same ground as this.

It’s a good story and goes to places where you might not think that it will. Worth seeing if you want something a little different and don’t mind reading the dialogue.

3.5 of 5 whatevers.


6 Responses to “As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me (2003)”

  1. Execellent movie, I’ve never seen any like this before, but I’ll checkout The Way Back as suggested by Mike Rice.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    fantastic movie

  3. Crash! Landen Says:

    Argh! I think think you may have needed a ‘SPOILER ALERT’ there….

  4. mike Rice Says:

    this film and the 2010 the way back, are almost the same screenplay. I saw as far as my feet can take me three weeks ago. I pick up the way back (2010) in a redbox, and it is almost the same film. In each case, prisoners escape from Siberia to find it is a long way back to the West. In As Far As,
    its one person escaping and its a swedish film. I discover As Far As is sort of the grand daddy of these films which are starting to sprout and flower like holocaust films. They’re, in effect, becoming a sub-genre. As Far As was based on the escape of a German POW from Siberia after World War ll. The man wrote his story in 1955. There was a TV movie eventually and then As Far As My Feet Can Take Me, a smaller budget than the Europe/American The Way Back. The point of both films is that escaping Siberia is more death-defying than just staying and serving out your sentence. You can quickly freeze to death out there. One of the folks in the Way Back did just that. As Far as hues closely to the 1955 true story, but the Way BAck has better character development.

  5. […] quite make the cut: Daredevil, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Stuck on You, Peter Pan, Holes, As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me…. The Movies that did make the list: #20 I’m Not Scared #19 The Station Agent #18 The […]

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