18 Best films to inspire you to visit Mongolia

The Best Films About Mongolia 

The unique lifestyle and culture of Mongol and steppe nomads, rich history of Mongols and Mongol warriors, beautiful landscape of country of Eternal Blue Sky attracts always the interest of foreign moviemakers. Since the beginning of 20th century international moviemakers started to make movies about Mongolia and its people. We introduce some movies which inspire you to visit Mongolia. A Mongolian proverb says: Seeing once is better than hearing a hundred times. So we would say: Visiting once is better than watching a hundred times. Enjoy watching these movies, then visit Mongolia! 

1. “The Story of the Weeping Camel “(Ингэн тэмээний нулимс)

 mongolian movies weeping camels  The Story of the Weeping Camel is a 2003 German docudrama distributed by Think Film. It was released internationally in 2004. The movie     was directed and written by Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni. The plot is about a family of nomadic shepherds in the Gobi Desert trying   to save the life of a rare white Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) calf after it was rejected by its mother. The documentary was nominated  for  an Oscar in the category Best Documentary at the 77th Academy Awards, International Film Critics Award, 2004 San Francisco  International Film Festival, White Camel Award, and 2006 Sahara International Film Festival.

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2. “The Cave of the Yellow Dog”

mongolian best movies

  “The Cave of the Yellow Dog” (Шар нохойн там)  is a 2005 Mongolian/German film written and directed by Byambasuren Davaa. The film was submitted as Mongolia's contender for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The story is a gentle fable about the limitations of life and its acceptance. A girl learns the painful lesson of letting go of want and desire when her father insists on leaving her newfound stray dog. However, the ending of the film offers hope—another lesson of life being full of changes and the consequences of change may bring unexpected rewards. It won the 2006 Deutscher Filmpreis Award for Best Children's Picture. 

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3. “Two Horses of Genghis Khan”

mongolian best movies

  “Two Horses of Genghis Khan” (Чингисийн хоёр загал) is a movie directed by Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa, who lives in Germany. It is about the singer Urna's quest to find the origins of the song. This movie was released in Germany in 2010.

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4. “The Eagle Huntress” (Бүргэдчин охин)

the eagles huntress movie  “The Eagle Huntress” (Бүргэдчин охин) is a 2016 Kazakh-language British-Mongolian-American documentary film directed by Otto Bell and executive-produced by Morgan Spurlock and Daisy Ridley, who serves as narrator. The film was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, but was ultimately removed from the shortlist. It was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. The Eagle Huntress follows the story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia, as she attempts to become the first female eagle hunter to compete in the eagle festival at Ulgii town, Mongolia, established in 1999. She belongs to a family of nomads that spend their summers in a yurt in the Altai Mountains and their winters in a house in town. The men in her family have been eagle hunters for seven generations, and she wants to follow in their footsteps. The film's dialog is in Kazakh; the narration is in English.

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5. “Mongol” (Монгол)

movies about mongol

 “Mongol” (Монгол), also known as “Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan” in the United States and “Mongol: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan” in the United Kingdom, is a 2007 Russian semi-historical epic film directed by Sergei Bodrov, about the early life of Temüjin, who later came to be known as Genghis Khan. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Bodrov and Arif Aliev. It was produced by Bodrov, Sergei Selyanov and Anton Melnik and stars Tadanobu Asano, Sun Honglei and Chuluuny Khulan in the main roles. “Mongol” explores abduction, kinship and the repercussions of war. The film was a co-production between companies in Russia, Germany and Kazakhstan. Filming took place mainly in the People's Republic of China, principally in Inner Mongolia (the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), and in Kazakhstan. Shooting began in September 2005, and was completed in November 2006. After an initial screening at the Russian Film Festival in Vyborg on 10 August 2007, “Mongol” was released in Russia on 20 September 2007. The film was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film as a submission from Kazakhstan. The film was nominated and won several awards in 2007 - 2009. Various critics included the film on their lists of the top 10 best films of 2008. Mike Russell of The “Oregonian” named it the fifth-best film of 2008, Lawrence Toppman of “The Charlotte Observer” named it the eighth-best film of 2008, and V.A. Musetto of the “New York Post” also named it the eighth-best film of 2008.
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6. Genghis Khan: To the Ends of Earth and Sea (Чингис хаан: Газар усны хязгаар хүртэл)

genghis khan to the endes of the erath and sea

 Genghis Khan: To the Ends of Earth and Sea (Чингис хаан: Газар усны хязгаар хүртэл) (蒼き狼 地果て海尽きるまで Aoki Ōkami: Chi Hate Umi Tsukiru Made, lit. "The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea") is a 2007 Japanese - Mongolian historical drama film depicting the life of Genghis Khan.
Temujin (Sorimachi Takashi) is born the son of the chief of a Mongolian tribe, and grows up as the one who carries the blood of “blue wolf”. When he is grown up, he marries Borte (Kikukawa Rei), but one night, she is taken away by another tribe. When Temujin rescues her, she is pregnant, and a boy is born not long thereafter. As the boy may be a son of a stranger, Temujin names him Jochi (Matsuyama Kenichi), meaning outsider, and refuses to accept him as his son. The time goes on and Temujin is enthrowned as the King of Mongolia. He changes his name to Genghis Khan and pledges to avenge his long-time enemy, the Jin Dynasty. Genghis Khan finally acknowledges Jochi as his own son, and they decide to fight together, but Jochi is killed by the enemy. The lonely battle of Genghis continues without end. A historical drama about the life of Genghis Khan, a hero who united the Mongol Empire and conquered half the known world.The film cost US$30 million to make, and was filmed over four months in 2006 in Mongolia, featuring more than 27,000 extras, as well as 5,000 Mongolian Army soldiers.”Genghis Khan: To the Ends of Earth and Sea” was released in Japan on March 3, 2007, and in Hong Kong on April 26, 2007. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Market, the Moscow International Film Festival and the 2007 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. It was the opening film of the 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok and the San Francisco Asian Film Festival.

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7. “Khadak” (Хадаг)

khadak mongolian movies

 Khadag (Хадаг) is a 2006 Belgian/Dutch/German film directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope Woodworth. The film is set in the steppes of Mongolia and takes place during winter in the latter half of the 20th century. It explores the events which concern Bagi, a nomadic herder, during his coming of age and the forced relocation of his people. Bagi has epilepsy and is subject to fits which cause visions and out-of-body experiences. When local officials claim that a disease is killing the livestock his family relies on Bagi and many others are forcibly relocated and made to work at an open pit mine mining coal. Eventually Bagi meets a woman, named Zolzaya, who participates in raids against the freight trains which transport coal away from the facility. As Bagi fights to overcome his epilepsy, together with Zolzaya he leads a group of young people who try to disrupt the mining operations and enliven the despondent populace to return to their nomadic lifestyle. The film won the Lion of the Future - “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.

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8. Wolf Totem (Чонон сүлд)

  wolf totum movie about mongolia Wolf Totem (Chinese: 狼图腾, French: Le Dernier Loup, Mongolian: Чонон сүлд) is a 2015 drama film based on the 2004 Chinese semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Jiang Rong. Directed by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, the Chinese-French co-production features a Chinese student who is sent to Inner Mongolia to teach shepherds and instead learns about the wolf population, which is under threat by a government apparatchik.

The Beijing Forbidden City Film Corporation initially sought to hire a Chinese director, but filming humans with real wolves was considered too difficult. New Zealand director Peter Jackson was approached, but production did not take place. Annaud, whose 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet is banned in China, had his personal ban lifted and was hired to direct Wolf Totem. The film was produced under China Film Group and French-based Reperage. The French director, who had worked with animals on other films, acquired a dozen wolf pups in China and had them trained for several years by Andrew Simpson, a Canadian-based animal trainer. With a production budget of US$40 million, Annaud filmed Wolf Totem in Inner Mongolia, where the book is set, for over a year.Some footage was also filmed in Beijing. Annaud filmed Wolf Totem in 3D.The production budget totaled US$40 million. Mongolian wolves (Canis lupus chanco) used in the film. Other animals were also prepared for filming. The Mongolian gazelle was difficult to find in Inner Mongolia, so filmmakers had to travel to the neighboring country of Mongolia to acquire gazelles.
The film premiered at the European Film Market on February 7, 2015. It was released in China on February 19, 2015, the start of the Chinese New Year. It was released in France on February 25, 2015. Alibaba Pictures acquired rights to distribute Wolf Totem in territories outside of the United States.
With the presence of Ankhnyam Ragchaa, the movie premiered in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 27 February 2015. A Mongolian-language version of the film will also be released so audiences unfamiliar with Mandarin Chinese could see it.

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9. “Tuya's Marriage” (Туяагийн хурим)


Tuya's Marriage (Туяагийн хурим) is a 2006 Chinese film directed by Wang Quan'an.The film depicts life in Inner Mongolia, in a region where desertification is making life hard for sheep herders. It tells the story of Tuya and her husband, who agree to divorce in the hope of finding a husband who will be prepared to look after both of them and their children.The film won the Golden Bear at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival, also won the 8th Chinese Film Media Awards for Best Film and Best Actress from Southern Metropolis Daily.The film received generally positive reviews from Western critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 90% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 30 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 71 out of 100, based on 13 reviews.

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10. “The Horse Boy”

the horse boy about mongolia

The Horse Boy is the title of an autobiographical book and a documentary feature film 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. So the family leave their home in Texas on an arduous journey to Mongolia.The Horse Boy: A Father’s Quest to Heal His Son, a book about the Isaacsons' experience, written by Rupert Isaacson, was released by Little Brown and Company on April 14, 2009. The book was a New York Times Best-seller.The film was directed by Michel Orion Scott and is distributed by Zeitgeist Films. 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.

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11. “Babies”

babies mongolian movie


 "Babies" also known as “Baby (ies)” and “Bébé(s)”, is a 2010 French documentary film by Thomas Balmès that follows four newborns through their first year after birth. Two of the babies featured in the film are from rural areas: Ponijao from Namibia, and Bayar from Mongolia, and two are from urban areas: Mari from Japan, and Hattie from U.S.A. The film was released in the United States, on 14 April 2010.The documentary shows the contrasts of the four cultures without using any form of narration, leaving it to the viewers to interpret the film. Babies received generally positive reviews. 69% of ninety-one reviews on the site Rotten Tomatoes favored the film. 

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12. “Marco Polo” (Марко Поло)

marco polo travel mongolia movie

Marco Polo is an American drama web television series inspired by 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). The show premiered on Netflix on December 12, 2014.The series was written and created by John Fusco and stars Lorenzo Richelmy in the title role with Benedict Wong as Kubilai Khan. The series is produced by The Weinstein Company. On January 7, 2015, Marco Polo was renewed by Netflix for a 10-episode second season, which premiered on July 1, 2016.
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. Fusco, himself, has described the series as historical fiction, based on the accounts of the Venetian traveler Marco Polo.

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13. “Urga” (Уурга)

mongolian movies

 Urga is a 1991 film by Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov. It was released in North America as “Close to Eden”. It depicts the friendship between a Russian truck driver and a Mongolian shepherd in Inner Mongolia. The film was an international co-production between companies based in Russia and France.

Urga won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Best European Film at the European Film Awards. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and for a Golden Globe in the same category.

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14. Films about Genghis khan 

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 starring Omar Sharif
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, a Mongolian film directed by Baljinnyam, which was released in 1990. Starring Agvaantserengiin Enkhtaivan as Temüjin.
Genghis Khan (1992 film), a 1992 Kyrgyz film
Genghis Khan (1998 film), a 1998 Chinese film
Genghis Khan (2004 TV series), a 2004 Chinese-Mongolian television series
Genghis Khan (documentary), a 2005 British television documentary
Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea, a 2007 Japanese film
Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea, a Japanese-Mongolian film released in 2007.
Mongol, a film by Sergei Bodrov released in 2007. (Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film).
No Right to Die - Chinggis Khaan, a Mongolian film released in 2008.
By the Will of Genghis Khan, a Russian film released in 2009.


15. “Genghis Khan” (Чингис хаан)

 Gengis Khan is a 1965 Technicolor film depicting the life and conquests of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan in Panavision. It was released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1965 by Columbia Pictures, it was directed by Henry Levin and featured Omar Sharif, who that same year starred in another epic, Doctor Zhivago. The film also included James Mason, Stephen Boyd, Eli Wallach, Françoise Dorléac and Telly Savalas. A 70 mm version of the film was released by CCC Film in West Germany. It was filmed in Yugoslavia. 

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16.Rendez-vous en terre inconnue

Rendez-vous en terre inconnue (it was called before: En terre inconnue) is a TV Show aired in France, since the 26 December 2004 on the channel France 5, then France 2, and it is hosted by Frédéric Lopez. Guest participant of this program must be a celebrity taken to an unknown destination to meet local people. This TV program was turned in Mongolia 3 time (with Bruno Solo, Altai region to visit horsemen, in 2007; with Virginie Efira, Taiga - Khovsgol province to visit reindeer herder, in 2010; with Mélanie Doutey, Altai region to visit camel herder family, in 2016). From 5 million to 8 million people watched these programs turned in Mongolia

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17. Pekin Express 

Pekin Express is a Spanish reality television contest. Between 2008 and 2011 was broadcast by the television network Cuatro, in 2015 by Antena 3 and since 2016, by la Sexta. In the contest, ten couples must travel 10,000 km to win a prize of 100,000 euros, in addition to the money they get in each stage. The first season of the program was presented by Paula Vázquez, the second and third by Raquel Sánchez-Silva, the fourth by Jesús Vázquez and, from the fifth, by Cristina Pedroche.
Ten couples have to travel the 10,000 km that separate two cities in 13 stages of 2/3 days each; the pair that arrives in last position is eliminated, unless they save the envelope that the winning pair of the last stage bears. Contestants have a budget of one euro per person per day to get food, while transport and accommodation have to get it for free.
In some editions the winners of the immunity game also have privileged accommodation, plus a dinner by the program for that night. At other times all participants of the immunity test are transported to a temple / city / etc to perform the test there, while the rest of contestants follow the race standing or hitchhiking to an agreed point.
The first route of this program was turned Russia, Mongolia and China. Most interesting and adventurous part was in Mongolia. 
Pekin Express: The Trans-Siberian Route (2008) Russia, Mongolia, China

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18. “Migration” (Нүүдэл)

Migration immerses the viewer in the arduous journey Dukha reindeer herders embark on each year traveling through Mongolia's pristine wilderness to arrive at their summer encampment. 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).

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