I loved this film! It is meant to be part of a trilogy which may follow. It changed my view of Genghis Khan who I viewed only as a simple murderous evil man. To be sure I wasn’t watching an idealized fiction, I followed it by watching Genghis Kan: Terror and Conquest — an excellent documentary by A&E which confirmed much of the history behind the film. Watching these films works so much better for me than reading books.
Here are a few of the many thoughts I had while watching the film:
- Like Mohammed, he desired to unit the Mongols, who were divided and weak prior.
- His love of his language — and indeed, I love the sound of Mongolian
- How he used rule of law (Yassa) to establish rule
- The unique spirit of this man
- His religious tolerance & the magical religious aspects of his history
- How our history is dependent on one document “The Secret History of the Mongols”. Genghis died in 1227, the book was written shortly thereafter. Surviving texts were from the 1300s in Chinese. They were translated back into Mongolian around 1915, then discovered in the West by a German who reconstructed the origional text in a 1937 translation. Well, I am not clear on all that, but that is close. The point, we are dependent on one text for his biography. If that had not survived, we’d be dependent on stories by those who he conquered. Can we trust this source. I don’t know, but I love the story.