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~ Quek Tee Kim, Singapore


Blog | published: 2020-11-11

Blue Mongolia Tour agency’s tour managers recommend you to watch following films before traveling in Mongolia. Therefore, you will stand up with crystal clear understanding about the Mongolian culture, lifestyle and their mentalities during the trip. In our next blog, we will recommend you what books you may read before traveling in Mongolia.

The documentaries and films about Mongolia features the unique lifestyle and culture of Mongol and steppe horse herders and sheep herders, as well as the rich history of Mongols and Mongol warriors, the beautiful vast landscape without fences under the magnificent blue sky.  First of all, below we mention names of films about Mongolian culture and herding family’s lifestyle. In next, the films about Mongolian history and other topics are mentioned.   

The Story of Weeping Camel

The Story of Weeping Camel documentary in German language is filmed in 2003 by Think Film and presented into international film market in 2004. The docudrama is directed by Mongolian documentary producer Byambasuren Davaa and Italian producer Mr.Luigi Falorni. In this film you will watch the epic landscapes of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and the way of life of the camel herders in spring time.

The Gobi camel herders have a herd of Bactrian camels (camels with 2 humps). A camel calf is rejected by its mother. Without its mother’s milk, the calf could not survive on his ownself, because the calf is not ready and too young to be feed by grasses. To save its life and to restore harmony between the mother and calf, the nomadic family call upon the services of a group of Buddhist lamas  who perform a ritual with bread. Lamas read sutras enchanting and blowing the conchshell horns.  The ritual, however, does not re-establish harmony between the mother and calf. Therefore, two sons of the camel herder family travel to a small town for a Morin Khuur (Horse Head Fiddle) musician to play a special music. To Say in details, it is not a special music, it is a kind of traditional coaxing ritual to encourage the mother camel to release its milk to her calf.

The traditional violin player played more precisely the morin khuur, the female camel herder sang a song of one word “khoos”. The song is heard like a lullaby, repeatedly intones the calming sounds and beautiful melody of the 'hoos' for the extraordinary mother and the mother’s kindness and compassion. At this point, the mother camel starts to weep, tears visibly streaming from her eyes. Immediately after the rite the mother and calf are reconciled and the calf draws milk from her teat.

The documentary was nominated  for  an Oscar in the category Best Documentary at the 77th Academy Awards.

The Cave of the Yellow Dog

This film is directed by Mongolian documentary producer Mrs.Byambasuren.D in 2005. If we look simply, the story is a relationship of a girl named Nansal and a dog. If we look carefully, the story is about the purpose of living as a dog. There is a Mongolian tales and legends about animals’ natural characteristics and the reason to be born as an animal of a dog, for example. There is a Mongolian expression and explanation: A dog gave a promise to a God that if someone will feed me, I will save the life of that person one time from a death. If a family feeds me, I will be a member of that family and I will work as a bodyguard for that family. That ‘s why Mongols have a special relation with a dog and take good care for their dogs.         

The girl Nansal had the painful lesson of letting go off what she wants and the compassion to save and feed the stray dog as hiding from his father and the family. One day the family prepares to move camps, her father planned to leave the dog behind. The family travels several miles until they realize that their son is not with them. The father turns back immediately and rushes back on his horse. Meanwhile, their son is stumbling slowly towards a flock of vultures. He ventures near a stream, while moving further and further from the dog. When the son is right next to the flock, the dog Zochir breaks free and scares them away. This is witnessed by the father who, in gratitude for protecting his son from harm, accepts the dog Zochor into the family. The life is full of un-expected changes. 

The film was submitted as Mongolia's contender for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Also it won the 2006 Deutscher Filmpreis Award for Best Children's Picture. 

The Eagle Huntress

The Eagle Huntress film is a one of the famous films to come out of Mongolia. The film is directed by Otto Bell and executive-produced by Morgan Spurlock and Daisy Ridley, who serves as narrator. It is 2016 Kazakh-language film by British-Mongolian-American documentary studio. It tells the story of 13-year old Aisholpan, the Kazakh girl from western Mongolia who wants to follow in the footsteps of her 7 generations of grandfathers and become an eagle hunter. Her attempts to become the first female eagle hunteress and then to compete in the eagle festival at Ulgii town, Mongolia. This movie and Aisholpan girl inspired other Mongolian girls to take up the eagle-hunting, so year by year the girl huntresses numbers are increasing in Mongolia. The film was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.

Two Horses of Genghis Khan

The film Two Horses of Genghis Khan is directed by Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren.D. The original epic deals with two white horses owned by Genggis Khan.   The younger one feels their services for the ruler are not being appreciated enough, and tries to convince the older one to move away together. The older one is reluctant, but after the younger one runs away on his own, the older one follows. The younger horse enjoys his new freedom, but the older one is homesick for their master, their mother and their comrades. He gets thinner and thinner, and in the end the younger one agrees to return home. Meanwhile, Genghis Khan has been missing his two white horses too, and after their return they are duly praised when they perform services for the khan.

But, the film refers to a Mongolian folk song, whose lyrics are chiefly lost today, about the 2 white horses of Genggis Khan. The film follows the singer Urna's journey across Mongolia to recover the missing verses and perform the origin of song in Ulaanbaatar. This movie was released in Germany in 2010.


The Migration documentary film is directed by Sas Carey, who is Mongolia Study woman and the director of Nomadicare organization. There are Dukha Tsaatans ethnic group of people in the deep of taiga of Mongolian north part and in the Siberian south part. They live in tepee’s tents and take care for the herd of reindeers. When the director Sas Carey observed the loss of a nomadic life in another area of Mongolia, she felt compelled to document the Dukha while they still migrate. In this documentary no directions were given. No action was staged or manipulated. This immersion film preserves the unique lives and lifestyles of reindeer herders just as they exist today. They are ridden, packed with goods, milked, and, when needed, honored and sacrificed for food. Migration travels with the nomads in their annual journey from their spring camp in the taiga forest to their summer camp in the tundra in order to provide rich pasture for the reindeer. This experiential film shows the traditional aspects of reindeer husbandry, and yet, the viewer will note contemporary goods. A satellite dish, solar panels, televisions, and chainsaws bring this ancient lifestyle into the modern world. The herders still travel on reindeer and use their reindeer for moving modern items as well as their bedding, dishes, wash pans, stoves, and clothing. The most important goal of their lives remains the same as their ancestors: to share their lives with reindeer. It is an unaltered snapshot of the life of reindeer herders who remain at one with their animals and the land.

In 2016 Migration won the Earth’s Choice Award at the Earth Day Film Festival, San Franciscoв It also received the Honorable Mention award from the International Film Awards Berlin (IFAB 2016). The Kasutaja Pärnu Filmifestival | Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival granted Migration The Best Scientific Audiovisual Recording Award (2016).

Balapan, The Wings of the Altai

The film is directed by Hamid Sardar, who is from Paris, Ile-de-France: ZED Film production, in 2005. The Deluun valley in the western part of Mongolia forms the backdrop to this film where flocks of sheep belonging to local sheep/goat herders are being attacked by hungry wolves. The men of the local community opt for a massive hunt for wolves with their trained eagles. Four-year-old boy Khoda Bergen dreams of participating in the hunt but first has to train his own young eagle Balapan to capture hungry wolves.

Boy Nomad

The film Boy Nomad is directed by Niobe Thompson & Dennis Wells, from Canada, in 2018. The boy Nomad film follows a year in the life of 9 year old Janibek, who lives with his parents in Altai mountains. His first love is the race of horses, but this winter his father will bring him on the toughest journey in sheep herder’s life: the winter migration. The Zud – much of snow is faced with altai mountain region and much of snow blocks the mountain passes and threatens to wipe out the family’s only possession: their livestock, their animals. Snow storms happened and made them stay overnight along the way, it is tough life. But smiling Janibek through the smiles on his horseback is filmed there.

Tracking The White Reindeer

The film is directed by Hamid Sardar, who is from Paris, Ile-de-France: ZED Film production, in 2008. This film focuses on the Tsaatan (Duka) reindeer herders lifestyle and the romance between young people. A young couple wishes to get married, but the father of the girl wants her prospective husband to prove himself by raising a herd of reindeer by himself. To prove to Solongo's father that he is man enough to marry his daughter, Quizilol has to show he is capable of raising a herd of reindeers by himself. His family gives him a young stallion to start off. During a blizzard however, the stallion escapes into the spirit dwelling mountains. If it crosses the nearby Russian border, it will be lost forever. The young man can only count on himself to capture the animal.

Burn your maps

Burn your maps is 2016 American comedy drama film written and directed by  Jordan Roberts, based on the short story of the same name boy by Roby Joy Jeff. The film starts that 8-year-old American boy Wes tells his parents that he is a Mongolian goat-herder who was born in the wrong place after a family tragedy. When Wes befriends an Indian immigrant they use crowdfunding to finance a  journey to the plains of Mongolia. Joined by an ambitious young filmmaker named Ismail Wes leads his family to Mongolia for a soul-searching journey. A quirky adventure where Wes, an 8-year-old American boy, believes that he is a Mongolian goat herder. The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September, 2016 and was released on June of 2016 by Vertical Entertainment.

All the Wild Horses

All The Wild Horses documents the Mongol Derby horse race, the longest and toughest horse race in the world. In a recreation of Chinggis Khaan’s legendary postal system, directed by Ivo Marloh, this 1000km (700 miles) race is strung along a network of 25 horse stations in the Mongolian wilderness, and has in its short life become an epic equine adventure without equal. The film follows the uneasy, most epic and dangerous 700 miles routes riding on different landscapes of Mongolia: steppe, desert, mountain ranges and so on..

The Horse Boy

The Horse Boy is the title of an autobiographical and a documentary feature film directed by Michel Orion Scott and is distributed by Zeitgeist Films. It follows

 that follow the quest of Rupert Isaacson and his wife to find healing for their autistic son Rowan. After discovering that Rowan's condition appears to be improved by contact with horses and with a help from shaman. So the family leave their home in Texas for an arduous journey to Mongolia. It tells what happened in Mongolia with their family and the son.

It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and won the 2009 Feature Film Audience Award for the Lone Star States at South by Southwest.

Films about Genghis Khan

There are so many films and feature dramas about Genggis Khan were produced in 20-21 centuries. The names of those movies and dramas are mentioned in below: Genghis Khan (1950 film), a 1950 Filipino film starring Ric Bustamante; Changez Khan, a 1957 Indian film directed by Kedar Kapoor; Changez Khan, a 1958 Pakistani film; Genghis Khan (1965 film), a 1965 British film; Genghis Khan (TVB TV series), a 1987 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB; Genghis Khan (ATV TV series), a 1987 Hong Kong television series produced by ATV; Under The Eternal Blue Sky; by Mongolian film in 1990; Genghis Khan (1992), by Kyrgyz film; Genghis Khan (1998), by Chinese film Genghis Khan (2004 TV series), 2004 Chinese-Mongolian television series;  Genghis Khan (documentary), 2005 British television documentary; Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea, 2007, by Japanese film;The Mongol, by Sergei Bodrov, Russia in 2007; No Right to Die - Chinggis Khaan, by Mongolian film 2008; By the Will of Genghis Khan, by Russian film rin 2009 and so on… . Most of this dramas are based on fiction context and for the making sensation and making money.

We will name only 2 movies as the best, because they directed on the real historical information and authentity of 13 centuries. It is the film Under the Eternal Sky, directed by Mongolian producer Baljinnyam.B at Mongolian Film Studio in 1990. The Film music is composed by Jantsannorov.N, and the mail role of Genggis Khan is starred by Mongolian movie artist Enkhtaivan,A. This film is a masterpiece for the honor of Genggis Khan! It is created by composed by Mongolian the most respected and experienced artists, the film shows the life of Chinggis Khaan, from early years until the end, without any addition of fiction stories. The great emperor Genggis Khan united all the Mongols under one rule and Mongolian cavalries’ skill in the arts of war are seen at this movie with nice combination of lyric and threatening music sounds.  

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is an American fiction drama web television series sponsored by The Weinstein Company. The series was written and created by John Fusco and stars Lorenzo Richelmy in the title role with Benedict Wong as Kubilai Khan. The show premiered on Netflix on December, 2014. The series follows Marco Polo's early years in the court of Kubilai Khan, the Khagan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).

In 2015, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj presented John Fusco and the Marco Polo creative team with an award, honoring their positive portrayal and global presentation of Mongolian subject matter.

The Queen Wise Mandukhai

The Queen Wise Mandukhai is  directed by Mongolian film producer Baljinnyam.B at Mongolian Film Studio in 1989. The leading actress for the role of Queen Mandukhai was Mongolian actress Suvd.N.  The Queen Wise Mandukhai was Empress of Post-imperial Mongolia by 1400. She married to  Dayan Khan of Mongolia and reunited all Mongol tribes with with her wise words, good strategy and keen swords. Queen Mandukhai protected her country, reunited Mongols, defeated many times and was betrayed by her generals. She did all her best for only her country and Mongol State, that is why she was written in Mongolian history as a brilliant gem of the history makers.



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