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As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me (2001)
"So weit die Füße tragen" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,405 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 15 critic

At the end of WW2, a German POW doing hard labor in the Soviet Gulag escapes from his Siberian camp to return to Germany but he's pursued by a Soviet NKVD officer.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernhard Bettermann ...
Iris Böhm ...
Kathrin Forell
Anatoliy Kotenyov ...
Oberleutnant Kamenev (as Anatoly Kotenyov)
Michael Mendl ...
Dr. Stauffer
Hans-Uwe Bauer ...
Leibrecht (as Hans Uwe Bauer)
André Hennicke ...
Johannes Hitzblech ...
Stephan Wolf-Schönburg ...
Irina Narbekova ...
Dr. Pachmutova
Pavel Lebeshev ...
Vladimir Korpus ...
Semjon (as Wladimir Korpus)
Igor Filchenkov ...
Anastas (as Igor Filtschenkov)
Tschmid Rintshinov ...


As prisoner of war Clemens Forell, a German soldier during WW II, is sentenced to a labor camp in far east Siberia. After four years working in the mines he escapes from the camp (in 1949) and tries to get home to his wife and children. For three years he journeys through Siberia. An odyssey of 14,000 kilometers, set against a backdrop of desolate and inhospitable landscape, beset by danger (from both animals and humans). Constantly battling the worst nature can throw at him, Forell makes his way, step by step towards Prussia and the longed-for freedom. Sometimes riding on trains, sometimes by boat, mostly on foot, he never knows if his next step won't be his last. His prosecutor Kamenev is always right behind him, and more than once it seems that Forell is captured again... Written by Pooh Frames

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on a true story and best selling novel.


Action | Adventure | Drama | War


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 December 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


DEM 15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the movie is presented as a true story, it is believed that Rost aka Forell (who truly made an impressive escape, even if not the one presented in the movie) fabricated or exaggerated some details, and claimed other people's experiences as his own, to make a good story better. See more »


While walking at night across a plain field of snow, with just the moon as only source of light, Forell throws three different shadows. See more »


Remake of As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

"People will help a creature down in the dust--even their worst enemy..."
1 February 2002 | by (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this film as part of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts film series. It is an extremely well-acted and well-produced adventure, based on the true story of a German POW's incredible journey through the dauntingly wide expanses and multi-ethnic terrain of the former Soviet Union in the late '40s and early '50s. It is beautifully shot on location, outdoor scenes of the rugged Russian landscape being a principle attraction. It is also quite well-acted by Bettlemen, who evokes both sympathy with and admiration for his character, and the rest of the cast. The principle actor spoke for about an hour afterwards. As he admits, the film does not go into detail about why the prisoners were there--no doubt some of them deserved punishment. However, many scenes also concentrate on the main character's wife and children back in Germany. Bettlemen, whose grandfathers both died in Russian POW camps after WWII, said he did the film as much to illustrate their family's plights as that of the prisoners.

The film (and the book) also illustrate that Samaritanism is not dead, and was not, even in Russia at this time. Forrell was, after all, a German soldier, but he would have been unable to cross Siberia without help from people of many diverse people. As Bettlemen related, "People will help a creature driven into the dust, even if it is their worst enemy."

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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