Sisi Tang (AP)
CHIFENG, China – It's no longer about the armed warriors, Genghis Khan and the robed nomads prancing through lush greenery on horseback. In China's barely populated Inner Mongolian grasslands, what had defined Mongolian culture for outsiders have long been swapped for leather outfits, motorbikes, cell phones, and tourism.
Five hours outside Inner Mongolia's southeastern city of Chifeng and deep in the grasslands, I chanced upon a local couple riding a mule-pulled cart on a quiet road, heading toward their coal-heated yurt.
The old storybook nomad life has dwindled, with most nomads now farming, living in compact brick huts, tending to tourists, or working in nearby cities. Desertification, too, is real and apparent... More>>
(Blacktreemedia) Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov illuminates the life and legend of Genghis Khan in his stunning historical epic, MONGOL. Based on leading scholarly accounts and written by Bodrov and Arif Aliyev, MONGOL delves into the dramatic and harrowing early years of the ruler who was born as Temudgin in 1162. As it follows him from his perilous childhood to the battle that sealed his destiny, the film paints a multidimensional portrait of the future conqueror, revealing him not as the evil brute of hoary stereotype, but as an inspiring, fearless and visionary leader. Filmed in the very lands that gave birth to Genghis Khan, MONGOL transports us back to a distant and exotic period in world history, to a nomad's landscape of endless space, climatic extremes, and ever-present danger.