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Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2007)

Mongol (original title)
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The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206.


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Khulan Chuluun ...
Aliya ...
Oelun - Temudjin's Mother
Baasanjav Mijid ...
Esugei - Temudjin's Father (as Ba Sen)
Amadu Mamadakov ...
He Qi ...
Ben Hon Sun ...
Ji Ri Mu Tu ...
You Er ...
Sorgan-Shira (as A You Er)
Huntun Batu ...
Altan (as Hong Jong Ba Tu)
Deng Ba Te Er ...
Daritai (as E Er Deng Ba Te Er)
Bao Di ...
Su Ya La Su Rong ...
Girkhai (as Su You Le Si Ren)
Sai Xing Ga ...


The movie is an epic story of a young Genghis Khan and how events in his early life lead him to become a legendary conqueror. The 9-year-old Temüjin is taken on a trip by his father to select a girl as his future wife. He meets Börte, who says she would like to be chosen, which he does. He promises to return after five years to marry her. Temüjin's father is poisoned on the trip, and dies. As a boy Temüjin passes through starvation, humiliations and even slavery, but later with the help of Börte he overcomes all of his childhood hardships to become one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known. Written by jck movies

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The untold story of Genghis Khan's rise to power See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of bloody warfare | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

4 July 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£185,364 (UK) (6 June 2008)


$5,701,643 (USA) (5 September 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the shooting of scenes involving a lot of extras, it was discovered that many of the extras were drinking alcohol between takes, which was causing problems amongst the mixed nationalities when shooting began. As such, the production purchased some footballs and the extras played soccer amongst themselves. However, after several weeks, they became bored with this, and soon returned to drinking, until second assistant director Zhao Meng had the idea to hire some female dancers and singers, and bring them onto location to perform for the extras. See more »


When Temujin and Borte are fleeing their pursuers, Temujin is shown shooting his bow (in a "Parthian shot" manner) at this pursuers, killing one. In the very next screen shot, Borte and Temujin are shown racing their horses - Temujin's bow is again in its saddle case. See more »


Temudjin: Mongols need laws.
Temudjin: I will make them obey...
Temudjin: ...even if I have to kill half of them.
Temudjin: Our laws will be simple.
Temudjin: Don't kill women or children.
Temudjin: Don't forget your debts.
Temudjin: Fight enemies to the end.
Temudjin: And never betray your khan.
See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.12 (2008) See more »


Cold Winter
Composed By Tuomas Kantelinen
Performed by Hamburg Film Orchestra, The London Session Orchestra, One Orchestra, Altan Urag
© 2008 X-Filme Creative Pool GmbH.
(p) 2008 Kinofabrika GmbH & Tuomas Kantelinen Ensemble.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

To the right of who?
29 June 2008 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

'Mongol,' the Russian-directed semi-historical epic (big emphasis on the semi- here) shot for $20 million in China (and Mongolia and Kazhakistan) with a multi-national cast and crew and Japanese and Chinese stars, purports to depict the first thirty-five years of the life of the emperor Genghis Khan. I say "purports," because not much is known of this period and even in depicting legend, Bodrov chooses to leave out many of the essential connectives that make a good story (or fairy tale or legend). Temudjin, as the young super-Khan is called, is a yoked prisoner, for example, awaiting execution; then, inexplicably, the yoke is off and he's free. He sinks through thin ice deep into the frozen water below; then, inexplicably, he's lying on land and getting rescued. He is languishing in a Chinese prison--his face seeming to acquire a patina of dust and sand (I liked that part: Bodrov excels at faces and tableaux); then he's miraculously found by his faithful wife Borte. She throws him a key and sets him free. Then, inexplicably, he is leading a vast army to defeat his arch rival. Over and over, how we get from point A to point B is left on the cutting-room floor. This is enjoyable as spectacle but unsatisfying from other standpoints.

How Genghis Khan got to be Genghis Khan, in short, is one thing this movie doesn't begin to try to explain. Could anyone? That I don't know; but 'Mongol' presents its biographical narrative without the connectives that make sense of a life. Despite lots of dramatic scenes with snappy dialog, striking images, and above all computer-assisted battles with crunching bones and crackling arrows and ringing swords, the film has an epic style without epic themes because its great issues are not so much resolved as abruptly, magically removed. This may in fact be more an epic love story than anything else. It is that in the backhanded way the 'Odyssey' is a love story, because, though Temudjin is away from Borte a lot of the time as Odysseus is mostly away from Ithaka and Penelope, 'Mongol's' opening sequence gives Borte a primary importance, because she (as played by Bayertsetseg Erdenebat), belonging to another tribe, a liberated young woman of the twelfth century, isn't chosen by but chooses Temudjin when he's nine years old and she's ten. It's not supposed to be that way--and maybe it wasn't; it seems a bit implausible. Temudjin is traveling with his Khan (tribal chieftain) father (Ba Sen) on their way to placate another tribe by choosing the boy's wife from their girls. When they don't, the father is promptly poisoned by the other tribe. And its leader, Targutai (Amadu Mamadakov), vows to kill Temudjin--but not for a year or so, because "Mongols don't kill children."

Well, what Mongols do or don't do seems up for grabs, and probably at the time, historically, "Mongol" itself must have been a rather vague concept. In fact that is another running theme: what's a Mongol? What are their primary values? There is no satisfactory answer, though killing and stealing are advanced as major concepts.

Surprisingly, since not too many are "to the right of Genghis Khan," and since he succeeds in wiping out all his enemies, Temudjin as played (as an adult) by the imposing Tadanobu Asano is a gentle-faced, zen-like fellow who's a strong advocate of fair play. Tadanobu, along with the somewhat over-histrionic Chinese actor Honglai Sun as Jamukha, his childhood blood brother and eventual arch rival, are both impressive. But the real star, with some substantial help from computer-generated effects, is the vast landscape of steppe, snow, mountain, and sky that dominates many scenes. With effective use of lenses and light, the filmmakers have created an epic look, and it's this, plus the authoritative acting, that make this film worth viewing--but only if you like this kind of thing and if you don't mind that you're not going to emerge from it with any historical knowledge. Said to be the first of a trilogy. One will approach the sequels with a certain reserve.

Shown as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival April-May 2008 and in US theatrical release June 2008.

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