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I have been a " Genghis Khan amateur " for a couple of years now and I have seen this documentary on Discovery Channel some days ago.
This documentary stands out from the other war docs. It has good acting by totally unknown actors ( my bet would be that they are experienced Mongol actors ), they speak their mother tongue ( although it is both narrated or subtitled ) and the costumes are great. There are some great scenes involving Genghis and Jamuqua. The bad point with this documentary is the fact that they seemed to put too much money on it at first and lacked the budget after the part where Genghis attacks China. Then, it skips right to the later years of his life and then he practically dies ten minutes later. There seems to be a miscalculation of spending of money here by the crew and director, in my own opinion.
What everyone needs to know is that there is a book written by Mongolian historians titled " The Secret History " which is mainly used in this documentary. However, this book was written way after Genghis Khan died, by Kublaï Khan's people at the height of the Mongolian occupation. Very little is true in this book for it was mixed with romanticism and imaginary tales to " impress " those who did not live at Genghis Khan's time. Truly, if the whole point of this documentary was to teach what was Genghis Khan's life, then it failed miserably. Being historically accurate is extremely difficult with Genghis Khan's life, especially his childhood, because he did not have much historians with him until his later years. I believe they did a great job although they should have made some more research to see what was true or wasn't ( there are 2 or 3 other main books by renown historians which seemed to be ignored there ).
I believe the story of Genghis Khan is yet to be discovered by many - especially where I live, in north America. I truly believe there is an incredible potential for a big budget movie about him. What this documentary has tried was to do this very movie, but it lacked the funds and the whole thing suffered from it.
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