Release Date: June 6, 2008
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Saturday, November 3, 2007
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Sadly, no real pictures of Genghis survive today.

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Who's up for yet another historical epic? This time around, the tale will focus on the life of Genghis Khan, as Mongol is looking to be the potential first film in a trilogy about the life of the world conqueror. The movie is a Russian production (an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at that), but is also scheduled for North American distribution.

Genghis Khan is believed to have been born between 1155 and 1167 in Hentiy, Mongolia. His name at birth was Temüjin, and he was named after a powerful chief in a rival tribe of his father, also a chief. The young Temüjin's life was not easy, as his father was murdered just after he reached the age of 14, which automatically put him next in the line of succession to be chief of his own clan. His clan wasn't pleased about being led by a boy, though, and soon abandoned both Temüjin and his family. As a result, over the next few years, he and his family lived as nomads, surviving on marmots and other small animals.

Still, Temüjin foreshadowed the man he would be by slaying his half-brother in a dispute over hunting spoiled. At one point, he was captured by his former tribe and held captive with a wooden collar around his neck. Someone sympathetic to the young man helped him escape, and he was learning from his mother about survival in Mongolia. Most importantly, he discovered the necessity of alliances, and would use this idea to help him become mighty.

Eventually, Genghis Khan started rising to power by allying himself with his father's blood brother, Toghril from the Kerait clan. Toghril was better known as Wang Khan, and adopted Temüjin as his heir after the young man wages some successful campaigns against the Tartars. Of course, much jealousy ensued from Senggum, Wang's former heir. Senggum set plans in place to assassinate Temüjin, but Temüjin learned of the ploy and defeated Senggum. Ultimately, he took over the title of Wang Khan.

Despite conflict with North China, Genghis Khan was able to organize his people for possible battles and united the tribes under a single system. Finally, he created a written code of laws for the Mongols called Yassa. He demanded that it be followed very closely so that his people would maintain their power and strength.

There have been early protests that the movie is not staying precisely true to the life of the young conqueror, which should create quite the controversy when the film is released. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Mongol
Main Cast Tadanobu Asano
Director Sergei Bodrov
Screenwriter Arif Aliyev, Sergei Bodrov
Distributor Picturehouse Films
Screen Count 4
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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