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Johanna D'Arc of Mongolia (1989)

A group of cosmopolitan women passengers aboard the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway are taken prisoner by Ulan Iga, a warrior princess.



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Credited cast:
Lydia Billiet
Christoph Eichhorn ...
Officer's attache
Sevimbike Elibay ...
3. Mitglied der Kalinka Sisters
Amadeus Flössner
Secondary-school teacher Mueller-Vohwinkel
Xu Re Huar ...
Princess Ulan Iga
Jacinta ...
1. Mitglied der Kalinka Sisters
Peter Kern ...
Mickey Katz
Else Nabu ...
2. Mitglied der Kalinka Sisters
Mark Reeder
Gillian Scalici ...
Fanny Ziegfeld
Nugzar Sharia ...
Russian officer


A group of cosmopolitan women passengers aboard the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway are taken prisoner by Ulan Iga, a warrior princess.

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Comedy | Drama






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Release Date:

30 March 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Joan of Arc of Mongolia  »

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User Reviews

A travel documentary basically, but not a memorable one
12 September 2016 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"Johanna D'Arc of Mongolia" is a co-production between France and West Germany and French and German are also the languages you will hear in here most often if you decide to give it a watch. This film is from the year when the Berlin Wall fell, so it is already over 25 years old. The writer and director is Ulrike Ottinger and she was in her mid-40s when she made this film, one of her most known works for sure. But in terms of story-telling, I sadly felt there is nothing that really makes a difference here. It is basically the story of a group of women who travel to Mongolia and looking at how long the film is, we find out really little about them I must say. But maybe this also was the filmmaker's intention, that her life before the trip is irrelevant, but that it is all about the trip itself. Anyway, mentioning the duration already, it has no be noted that this live action color film from the late 1980s runs for no less that 2 hours and 45 minutes, which is really massive and takes a very special achievement to make a film that does not drag or at least not too often. This is not such an achievement. It has more than just a few lengths. Story-telling is basically non-existent in here and it feels all about the people, the culture and the clash between cultures (laundry scene for example). But it just isn't (interesting) enough. This is also why I believe this film should not be adored from a feminist perspective. Having a predominantly/exclusively female cast is not enough in my opinion to succeed with regard to this idea. There also needs to be strong acting, writing and directing and it is all very mediocre I think. The only cast member I was familiar with is Irm Hermann here through her work with Fassbinder (who was already long dead by 1989). I am just undecided if she is a good or weak actress, but she sure is very unique. Sadly, her characters are so similar always and she gives it always the same approach with all her mannerisms, so probably not that great of an actress. In addition, the Jacob Sisters have a little cameo and the girl who plays the protégé of the more experienced French traveler is absolutely stunning. But not stunning enough to watch all the scenes without her in this extremely long film. I don't recommend the watch. Thumbs down.

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