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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mongol:

I saw the movie Mongol last night. I was lucky enough to be sitting with a physical anthropologist who focuses on the region. This movie was so historically inaccurate, it was nerve wrecking. It should be tagged "The un-true story of Genghis Khan". The actual story of Chinggis Khan's life, as depicted in The Secret History, is far more interesting then Sergei Bodrov's fictional script. Not to mention the fact that the movie seems to lump Central Asian culture (from multiple centuries) in to one pan-Mongolian theme (Uzbek clothes, Tibetan earrings, Turkmen rugs and head scarves, Kazakh gers...) The film also depicts Borte (Chinggis Khan's wife) as slutty, which is sick. Borte is held high in Mongolian culture as a devote wife and mother, and almost a goddess. The actors (Chinngis is played by a Japanese actor) speak Mongolian in the movie...or at least you think they do. Mongolian is not my native language, but I can say with certainty that their Mongolian was awful. Especially the actor who played Jamukah. I guess they made them speak Mongolian to make the movie seem foreign and interesting. To me it just made it seem ridiculous.
I totally understand why my Mongolian friends said the movie was terrible. It's just another movie wrongly depicting Mongolians and Mongolian history. I suppose if you watch it as a work of pure fiction (which it is) you may be able to appreciate the cinematography.

6 comments:

Erin said...

Is it possible that "The Conqueror" has been usurped by Mongol as dodgiest Mongolian movie of all time?!? I haven't seen it yet, but by all reports, it sure sounds like it mate...

paradigmshifted said...

i thought borte was his wife?

i didn't think it was so bad. overly dramatized, yeah, but that's movie-making for ya. accuracy isn't exactly a priority....

Ulaana said...

I think I was so impassioned when I wrote my post, I said Borte was Chingis's mother rather than his wife or the mother of his children. I corrected that now.
I just think it's about time that people start recognizing Mongolians, specifically Chinggis Khan for all the good things he did. The real story is far more interesting!

paradigmshifted said...

I read Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - passed it along to a number of people. Clearly, I didn't get the whole story in my world history class in high school!

My Mongolian friend here saw it and thought it was ok. She thought it was better than past depictions - at least there was some reference to his sense of law and justice, etc...

Bob said...

They have lots of Mongolian American groups. Maybe we need to create a Yahoo Group or blog for American Mongolians, like RedWhiteAndBlueMongols. I am coming in less than a month.

Anonymous said...

Uzbek clothes? Uzbeks are not even close to Mongolians in culture! I should see this movie.