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George W. Hill
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the occupying army. However he is captured when the army tries to requisition cattle from the herdsmen at the same time as the commandant meets with the reincarnated Grand Lama. After being shot, the army discovers an amulet that suggests he was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. They find him still alive, so the army restores his health and plans to use him as the head of a Mongolian puppet regime. Written by
Mongolia always had a certain appeal to me. If China and Russia were to have a baby, it would look like Mongolia. It's such an intriguing and beautiful looking place, with a nice and long culture, that we all yet know so little about. It always has served as a great backdrop for movies.
The movie also focuses a lot on the Mongalian cultures, which also definitely makes this one of the least propaganda filled Russian movies of its period. because most movies were financed- and needed to be approved by the Communist party, who would of course often were making certain demands. I don't know what was the story behind this movie but my guess is it was pretty much the same.
The backdrop and cultural themes within this movie make sure that it is a beautiful shot one to watch, with of course also some typical Russian fast editing, especially during the action sequences.
And the movie does have some good action in it, although the movie is not halve as epic or action filled as its title would suggest, though in the end the movie still starts to show some epic properties, although this is mostly serves a purpose for the movie its symbolism. The ending is by the way quite solid and a rather unforgettable one. In essence the movie for some reason more reminded me of "Lawrence of Arabia", that was also more political and well layered, with different themes and culture-clashes in it, just as this movie is. Also both stories show definitely some similarities. I especially loved the political games within this movie, toward the ending. "Potomok Chingis-Khana" has really got a solid story!
The movie was very well cast. All of the actors seemed to fill the roles right and strongly and had the right required looks for it, which was perhaps the most important aspect in '20's silent-movie casting.
A great watch, also for especially those who like Russian cinema from the '20's but were never fond of the Comministic aspects and themes in it.
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