Wednesday, December 19, 2007


A Russian-made, Mongolian-language film, this is the first part of what is hoped to be an epic trilogy spanning the life of Genghis Khan. Mongol covers his early life and shows us the softer side of Genghis Khan - the son, the lover, the father, and the warrior.

We first meet the man who would be Genghis Khan, known to us only as Temudgin, when he is nine years old and traveling with his father to choose a bride. However, on their way there, they stop at another village and Temudgin chooses a bride from that clan instead, paying a great insult to the other clan and setting up a later conflict.

Temudgin eventually becomes a slave, but with a bit of help, manages to escape. In his twenties, he returns to marry Borte, the bride he chose as a child, but she is soon taken from him. He enlists the help of a childhood friend to get her back (though the friend makes him wait a year to get this help), and they succeed, but Temudgin refuses allegiance to this friend when he suggests that Temudgin be his second-in-command. Temudgin leaves his friend, taking a few of his most trusted warriors with him, and this creates a rivalry between the two Khans. Temudgin suffers several more trials and eventually breaks out of prison (with the help of Borte). There is a great battle between his army and the much larger army of his former friend. Temudgin's army is the victor, and the film closes here, only slightly glancing ahead at the legend Temudgin would become.

This is a gorgeous film, and a moving epic. I sincerely hope it is able to reach a wide audience when it is released this summer.

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