7.7/10
3,348
22 user 9 critic

Close to Eden (1991)

Urga (original title)
PG | | Drama | 30 October 1992 (USA)
A curious friendship develops between Gombo, a young Mongolian shepherd living with his wife and family in a hut, deep in the wilderness of the steppes, and Sergei, a Russian worker whose truck breaks down not far from Gombo's hut.

Director:

Nikita Mikhalkov

Writers:

Rustam Ibragimbekov (screenplay), Rustam Ibragimbekov (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Badema Badema ... Pagma
Bayaertu Bayaertu ... Gombo
Vladimir Gostyukhin ... Sergei
Babushka Babushka ... Grandma
Larisa Kuznetsova ... Marina
Jon Bochinski Jon Bochinski ... Stanislas
Yongyan Bao Yongyan Bao ... Bourma
Wurinile Wurinile ... Bouin
Biao Wang Biao Wang ... Van Biao
Baoyinhexige Baoyinhexige ... Bayartou
Nikolai Voshchilin Nikolai Voshchilin ... Nikolai
Jinsheng Bao Jinsheng Bao
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Storyline

The shepherd Gombo lives with his wife, three children and grandmother in a tent on the Mongolian steppe. They are pleased with their rustic conditions, until a Russian truck driver, Serguei, gets stuck with his truck nearby. The cultural gap between Gombo and Serguie seems invincible. But maybe they can learn a few things from each other? Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film from Russia. Previous nominees from that country had been submitted from The Soviet Union. It lost to France's Indochine (1992). See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #6.1 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from "Nocturne Nr. 2, Opus Nr. 9"
by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

User Reviews

Overdone theme of lost innocence
7 September 1999 | by allyjackSee all my reviews

The film's closing stretch provides one of the most memorable depictions of creeping dysfunction as the family sits in front of the TV, watching either Bush-Gorbachev, or else not much of anything, with their Stallone "Cobra" poster propped up behind the TV. That aside, the movie's theme of lost innocence and cultural decay is perhaps a bit overdone (although not as overdone as the English title imposed on the movie would suggest) - indeed, there's almost nothing else to the film except somewhat ponderous - if inherently spectacular - shots of landscape and documentary-style observation, offset by the boisterous intrusion of the lost Russian (who in his drunken escapades brings it as close to a knockabout comedy as conceivable) and strange, strenuous fantasy sequences that drive home the notion of futile ambition, but are too contrived for comfort. Despite all reservations though, the movie often transcends mere exoticism - their early morning discussion about condoms for example is touching and convincing. as well as faintly surreal (from a Western perspective). The film suggests that traditionalism and modernity CAN actually coexist, which makes their failure to do so all the more poignant; the only way to make sense of the closing voice over is to conclude that it comes from the future, underlining the picture's sense of dislocation.


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Details

Country:

France | Soviet Union

Language:

Mongolian | Russian | Mandarin

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Close to Eden See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$377,832

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$377,832
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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