Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One of John Barleycorn's (aka Ulaanbaanjo) blogs (the other being http://ulaanbaanjo.blogspot.com, chronicling his adventures in Mongolia with his Mongolian family and his banjo) is dedicated to the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1875-89).His latest post on Chinggis Khaan and the movie Mongol is an interesting read, including his Mongolian wife's reactions to the movie Mongol and snippets from the 9th Encyclopedia Britannica article on Chinggis Khaan.
I enjoyed the film, although Mongolian members of the Barleycorn family were less impressed...
Deep offense was caused in Mongolia when news of the central scene, and the director's invention, depicting the mighty Chinggis locked in a cage for the amusement of passers-by, reduced to catching a live bird and eating it raw. This provoked a similar reaction in my wife to the portrayal in Bill and Ted, of Chinggis as a small Chinese savage, with an uncontrollable lust for women and barbecued chicken.

It's a shame because it seems that the director was really doing his best to make a positive portrayal. It is a constant source of aggrievement that Chinggis is always portrayed by a foreigner, from John Wayne and Omar Sharif in Hollywood versions, to the young Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano in the present case..
Read more on his blog