Mongol (15)

Directed by Sergei Bodrov
Written by Arif Aliyev and Sergei Bodrov
Screening at FACT from 6th June 2008

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is an epic movie with a capital E, which was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. Although factually incorrect in parts regarding the life of Genghis Khan (the first part of a planned trilogy, this film only concentrates on the first half of his life), it is nevertheless breathtaking with its stunning photography and awesome battle scenes.

Shot in China, particularly Inner Mongolia, and directed by veteran Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov, the movie charts the life of the young Genghis (Odnyam Odsuren) - then named Temudjin - starting from the age of nine, when his father Esugei (Ba Sen) asked him to select a bride-to-be (Bayertsetseg Erdenebat).

This alliance has a significant impact on older Genghis, acted by Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano.

Alongside the poisoning of his father, it forms the main reason for his endless bitter struggles against rival tribes, allied with the humiliation he suffered when forced into slavery by his arch enemy Jamukha (Honglei Sun),who at one time had been his closest comrade.

The acting by some characters is a little suspect, and the editing in some scenes sometimes awry, but these are minor quibbles in what is a truly major film.

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