Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.
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
Prior to appearing in the film as Börte, actress Khulan Chuluun was studying to be a journalist, and had never acted before. Director Sergey Bodrov had sent casting director Gulshat Omarova to Mongolia to look for actresses for the role, but she was unable to find any. Disappointed with her failure, she went to the Chinese Embassy to renew her Visa so as to travel back to China. Whilst she was in the embassy, she saw Khulan by sheer accident, and approached her to ask about playing the role. See more »
The Mongolian tribes, including the hordes that conquered their vast empire, rode on a very peculiar race of horses, stocky build, with relatively short legs and a large head. The horses used in the movie look like ordinary western horses See more »
[Kneels before the shrine]
Lord of the blue sky, great Tengri. I bow before you. Give me the strength.
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You know how they say history was written by the victors? That's true for everyone but the Mongols. Most of their history was written by the Chinese, Russians, Arabs, and other conquered peoples who had an interest in perpetuating Genghis Khan = bloodthirsty savage.
The movie is based on one of the few sources about Genghis khan written in Mongolian. It's called the secret history of the Mongols and was written shortly after he died as a record for the Mongolian royal family. He was just a chieftain's's son of a very minor tribe. That's what makes this story so impressive, he didn't start out as a king or a prince with a huge army, like Alexander. Everything he had, he had to earn. He didn't get to be Genghis Khan until he was in his 30's. He was always aware of how victory wasn't assured but had to be paid for with planning and strategy. He wasn't a saint by any means but he wasn't an unthinking savage. This movie is actually meant to be the first in a trilogy with the second one probably detailing his conquest of north china and the third the conquest of the Khwarezim empire in Iran and Afghanistan.
This is an approach that I like because the Alexander movie died on account of it trying to condense all of his conquests into one movie.
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