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Alaska Highway (2013) Online

Alaska Highway (2013) Online
Original Title :
Alaska Highway
Genre :
Movie / Documentary / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Aleksi Salmenperä
Cast :
Heikki Tolonen,Jon Ayres,Rhys Palmer
Writer :
Aleksi Salmenperä
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 15min
Rating :
Alaska Highway (2013) Online

Alcan Highway is a film about a journey, a dream which seems to be coming true. But is it what Hese really wanted?
Cast overview:
Heikki Tolonen Heikki Tolonen - Himself (as Heikki Hese Tolonen)
Jon Ayres Jon Ayres - Himself
Rhys Palmer Rhys Palmer - Himself
G-Dog G-Dog - Himself
Rhonda Durgeloh Rhonda Durgeloh - Herself
Bennett Durgeloh Bennett Durgeloh - Himself
Jesse Jesse - Himself
E.A. Patson E.A. Patson - Himself
Harold Harold - Himself, 87 years
Lloyd Lloyd - Himself

User reviews



Hese is a man with a mission and Alcan Highway is a document of that mission. After purchasing an antique rusty bucket truck in Alasks, he leaves his home in Finland, recruits some buds, and intends to make this contraption into a rolling mobile home. He also aims to park in Vancouver Island, a mere 4000 kilometers from where it sits, and by sit I mean it hasn't been started in 40 years. Not surprising, our charming wandering hero encounters some failures along the way, the personal ones perhaps outweighing the mechanical ones.

Of all the flavors of documentary filmmaking, the human on a totally Quixotic mission is my personal favorite. Director Aleksi Salmenperä handles this tale beautifully, never once trying to explain why Hese is doing this – because really, could there be an adequate answer? Hese is one charming Finn, even when he's being obstinate and willful. The singled minded focus with which he persons his very odd vision draws the viewer in and the stunning natural beauty of the North American west coast provides some great scenery along the way. Alcan Highway is definitely a Hot Docs must see.


Another unearthed in my odd Finnish oddities odyssey; although in this one, perhaps not so much unearthed as 'discovered / located' as the vehicle that we're thrown into being fixed up / rescued has itself already been, as also already being worked on by a trio of itinerant (it seems) mechanics in arms (up to their - in grease and oil throughout, it seems) ..

which is my criticism of an otherwise engrossingly made 'hot doc'*, as there is little intro into how this guy's own odyssey began, yet in being a documentary, then the fly on the wall (around the ancient truck cab / in the re-purposed old Airstream caravan) is really remarkable: astonishingly so close up into the various protagonists at times, that you are left to wonder, is this really documentary recording, or rather an extremely cleverly, subtly directed conceit? **

Besides the obvious gorgeous scenery in latter half of the film - and in which makes you long for a companion 'making of' as to how they got all those shots of the truck lonelily trucking along the highways, if it was going a barely 60 70 kmh! - there are some wonderful contextual shots throughout. E.g. was the dog deliberately added in, or just serendipitously available to be almost as like a silent narrator to the folly of the pursuits developments?

  • WARNING PLOT DEVELOPMENT SPOILER - In fact, some developments so doc-maker fortuitous that it makes you wonder if this really was just a recording of genuine events. (E.g. when finally left on his own, main guy Hesse causes his cherished (Aerosmith 'Pump' album era like) cab truck engine to oh so dramatically explode into fire (this is in the trailer, so not completely a plot spoiler!); but not only that, but this even happens only just off to the side of a gas station, at that, too! Scripted or yet more mere 'hot-doc' maker serendipity?

Yet, if indeed all genuine, it is also uplifting as to the help passing strangers can offer, and especially so from the elder generation, and that for men in particular when old rusting vehicles are involved, seems to instantly release some sort of deep atavistic bonding source for all men!

Whichever, this is a fabulous intrusive recording of one man's folly 'triumph' - which leads to my main criticism: is that having been invested with Hesse for so long, we are not really given any closure on whether he clearly did achieve his objective - as though the documentary maker tired of his subject.

But if also seeing former glory old vehicles, forlornly rusting away in their own graveyards - one rescued / re-purposed for re-use, does it for you, this is beguiling: (and it's really remarkable how these sprawling vehicle junk yards seem so prevalent to the the big open spaces of the US.)

* This was the festival at which it was first premiered

** On my DVD, there was no 'making of' which for such a cleverly done doc should essentially have - if only to allay these suspicions: N.B. there is about 30 mins extras deleted scenes though, which are informative.