Das Lied von den zwei Pferden [Two Horses of Genghis Khan] (2009)

Two Horses of Genghis Khan is the newest documentary by Mongolian-German filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa.

Urna Chahar-Tugchi is a singer. To keep a promise she made to her grandmother, she travels from Inner Mongolia to Outer Mongolia to restore her grandmother’s violin. Said violin had a few verses engraved on its neck and now Urna tries to find the song the verses belong to – the song of the Two Horses of Genghis Khan.

Two Horses of Genghis Khan is an interesting look at Mongolian life, but ultimately it runs a little too long and feels completely anticlimactic. Still, it’s a beautiful film.

Byambasuren Davaa has a nice sense of humor and tells the story well but I have to admit that in the middle of the film, I almost fell asleep. It got better again, but there was a dead half-hour in the film and that kinda dragged.

Urna Chahar-Tugchi comes across as a very interesting woman, a strong personality. And her quest is something I’m very sympathetic to. Discovering family roots and carrying on traditions is something that is also a pretty big topic in my family.

Unfortunately, the ending then was a little anticlimactic. She was constantly searching for this epic of a song and then she finally found it – and all we got to hear (or at least translated) were four verses. [Something along the lines of “The two horses of Genghis Khan missed their herd. When the snow disappears from the mountains, they’ll be able to go home again.”]

The real star of the film, actually, was Mongolia herself. Such a beautiful, beautiful landscape! And Davaa captures it perfectly.

Summarising: has its length, but also so much beauty…


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