The Two Horses of Genghis Khan [DVD] [2009]

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The Two Horses of Genghis Khan
A handful of people reach back to the past in search of a greater understanding of the present in this documentary from filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa. Inner Mongolia is a nation under the political control of China, and during the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 -- in which Mao Tse-Tung sought to rid China of bourgeois influences, just as many parts of China were forced to rid themselves of "corrupting" historical traditions -- Inner Mongolia's heritage of folk art and culture was stripped from the public record, and many priceless artifacts and documents of traditional culture were destroyed. Urna Chahar-Tugchi was one of the unwitting victims of the Cultural Revolution in Mongolia; her grandmother was a talented folk musician who, rather than have an heirloom violin taken away from her, chose to destroy it and passed along a few of the scraps to her children. Years later, Urna is eager to learn more about the traditions of her ancestors, and with this in mind she sets out to learn how her people once lived; in order to learn the music of Mongolia's past, she teams with a gifted luthier to rebuild her grandmother's violin from the pieces that remain. The Two Horses of Genghis Khan received its American premiere at the 2009 AFI Fest, a film festival coordinated by the American Film Institute. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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