Po veleniyu Chingiskhana
(By the Will of Genghis Khan) (2009)
Director: Andrei Borissov.
Starring: Stepanida Borissova (Oelun - Mother of Chingis Khan), Sergei Egorov (Temuchin), Gernot Grimm (Missionary Giovanni di Pian), Orgil Makhaan (Jamucha), Eduard Ondar (Chingis Khan), Susanna Orzhak (Borte), Efim Stepanov (Chaman Xoxochoi), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Bodyguard), Oleg Taktarov (Kuchulun Khan), Men Tu (Shen min Jen).
Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire film.
Missionary Giovanni di Pian is in prison. He has with him a written story of the Mongolians and of Genghis Khan. He will now relate that history.
Flashback. c. 1153 AD. Hoelun of the Olkhunut tribe is engaged to a member of the Merkit tribe. She is on her way back to the Merkit camp. Yesugei, a minor tribal chief of the Kiyad and an ally of Ong Khan of the Kerait tribe, and some of his men stop her and her escort. At this time an eclipse of the sun occurs. Yesugei decides that this Hoelun will be his wife. Her escort is about to try to resist, but Yesugei's archers draw back their bows ready to fire away The escort leaves without Hoelun, who decides to throw herself off a cliff, but a rope is thrown around her body. (She becomes Yesugei's chief wife and, as such, would give birth to his heirs.)
Hoelun has her first child and he is Temujin (later to be known as Genghis Khan). Mother calls the group of children: Temujin, Jamuka, Taichar, Borte, Hasar. They are going back home.
Temujin is older now and he runs after his father, who picks him up and puts him on his horse. Dad says Temujin will become the khan (leader) of their tribe. A young girl named Borte is to be the wife of Temujin.
Missionary Giovanni di Pian baptizes Jamuka. In the winter Temujin and Jamuka swear to be like brothers. Temujin falls into the ice cold water and has to be rescued. When he is being pulled up out of the water he sees a vision of a warrior and then passes out. His mother has to try to save his life by getting him warmed up. In his delirium he tells him mother that father is killed.
After the winter is over, father returns but is badly hurt. He falls off his horse. The people of the tribe run up to him. Yesugei dies.
Hoelun is visited by the father of Borte. His named is Targutai, and he tells Hoelun that by the rules of affinity she will be his. But he stresses, that Timujin will never be the khan of the tribe, but rather it will be his son Bekter. Hoelun tells him that only God knows who will become khan and that he should go away. So Targutai forces her out of the tribe and takes her animals.
Mother tells Temujin that he has to go into hiding for awhile. She cuts off his braided pony tail to help disguise him. She now sends him to the family of Borte. He is taken on a horse to his new tribe.
When he is a young man, he returns to see his mother. Later he reunites with Jamuka.
Targutai asks his son Bekter if his brother-in-law Temujin has returned to his mother? Yes, he has seen him. Targutai asks Bekter to spy on Tamujin.
One day Temujin directly confronts Bekter and asks him if he is spying on them? With Temujin is his small brother Hasar. Bekter just tells Temujin that he can do what he wants because he is the future khan. Hasar tells Bekter that he is just a weakling and not a khan. Bekter threatens Hasar with a knife and Temujin puts an arrow in the back of the future khan.
Men come to catch the "murderer" Temujin. Temujin starts to run away, but he is on foot and the men are on horseback. A big piece of wood with a hole in the middle is placed around his neck and his hands are tied. They take him away as Temujin asks his mother not to cry for he will be back soon.
His captors harass Temujin and spit in his face. The men then go for a drink. Temujin is left behind so he simply walks away. Targutai finds Temujin gone. He catches up with the so-called guards and slashes at them with his horse whip yelling at them that they let Temujin get away.
An old man comes to find Temujin. He does find him and tells him that he must be very quiet if he is going to disappear. In a dream Temujin hears his father tell him that it is time for him to go home.
One day Temujin shows up before his mother to tell her he is back. He then goes and brings Borte back, so they can marry. At night he takes Borte's gown off her shoulders (brief nudity). The next day he finds Jamuka and invites him to the wedding.
On another day a large group of tribesmen come to kill Temujin. Temujin and two others fight with the tribesman. A man tells Hoelun that they are here for Borte, her daughter-in-law. Temujin is wounded and he floats down the river. Borte is taken away. Later, Temujin pulls himself out of the river. He is found and brought home to heal. When he recovers he tells his mother that he and his friends will bring Borte back.
Temujin goes to see the Honorable Toghrul Wang Khan. They go into the yurt to talk. Toghrul says he will help Temujin get Borte back, but all the spoils will be his.
Temujin and Toghrul and his men attack the village where Borte is being held. They kill a lot of villagers and burn a lot of yurts. To get to Borte, Temujin has to kill a lot of soldiers. He goes into the yurt and sees that she is being accosted by a tribesman. He slits the man's throat. He then sees that Borte is very pregnant. She begs Temujin: "Do not kill us." He grabs and hugs her. Temujin takes her outside, has her put in a cart and the cart sent away.
Meanwhile, the fighting continues. The leader of the tribe gets away. He runs away in order to fight another day.
Now Toghrul tells Temujin that he will become his sworn son.
Borte has a son. Temujin is happy.
Out on the open steppe, Taichar and Temujin's pretty sister Temulun flirt with each other. Taichar tells her he is going to capture a special horse for her, but Temulun says the horse belongs to her brother's herd and he won't like it. At night Taichar goes to catch the horse for Temulun. The herdsman comes out and yells thief and Taichar takes off. The herder shoots an arrow at him, but he doesn't think it hit the thief and he just goes inside again.
Taichar's brother finds him deaf with an arrow in his back and vows revenge. He demands that Temujin up all the family of his brother's murderer. No. Now he demands the murderer himself. Temujin again refuses because the man was only doing his duty. He wants Temujin's brother then. No. So now the brother tells Temujin he will have to fight him. So now a battle starts between the two groups. Temujin loses a lot of his men so he has his last five men retreat to a gorge. There Temujin discovers that he is now caught in an ambush with men on both sides of the gorge and others in front of Temujin and his men. He has to give up. As punishment a number of brothers are beheaded.
Temujin's allies are very angry with him for not giving the murderer up to Taichar's brother. From now on the steppe lives according to the Great Yassa. Temujin decides to unite the tribes and built a huge army under one command.
Sengum tells Toghrul that Temujin has been elected the Great Gurkhan by the Kurultai. By doing so he has brought down the anger of the powerful Naimans on all the Keraits. Toghrul says they must support Temujin, but Sengum insists that they will join the Naimans and Jamuk will support them. He goes out to yell to the troops: "Let's go to Tayan Khan!" Toghrul tries to stop Sengum but the latter just knocks the older man down with his horsewhip.
Now Toghrul is alone. He is found by enemy soldiers who kill him when they discover who he is. The leader of the group of soldiers now tells Jamuka and Sengum that Temujin killed Toghrul. Sengum says that Temujin must be killed. Another says that Temujin almost exterminated the entire Merkits klan. A representative from the Tayan Khan says the Khan has appointed Jamuka the gurkhan of the steppe.
Temujin hears the shaman of the Kiyats' clan speaking about Temujin saying he has lost his mind deciding they will fight the powerful Naimans. Temujin comes in and tells the shaman to get out. Before he leaves, the shaman says to Temujin: "Chosen by the Heaven, cursed by the Earth."
A man tries to train the men in Chinese kung-fu, but the men all laugh at him. They send one of their own men out to wrestle with the teacher and almost immediately the teacher puts him down on the ground.
At night the shaman yells out that Temujin is leading the men to their deaths. A man says that the shaman is a traitor and that he will kill him. The next day the dead body of the shaman is found. Temujin's own mother says her son has become too hardened with this idea of consolidation of the tribes. She and Borte walk away from him. The shaman's body is wrapped up and placed in a tree, the tradition for burying shamans. Temujin stays by the tree. Jamuka comes to talk with him saying that this consolidation spills too much blood of their brothers. He also says that the Naimans's army is ten times as big as that of Temujin's. Temujin says that Jamuka has betrayed his people and that a henchman of the Naimans cannot be the gurkhan of the steppe. They part company.
Tayan Khan will come at Temujin from the upland. Temujin will put up a decoy straight ahead of them. Hen will have his army to the side in a low position so as not to be seen by the enemy.
Tayan Khan tells his staff and his allies that Temujin has gathered a disparate group of renegades around him. He says: "What an insolent fellow!" He has even taken the title of Genghis Khan. Brother Hasar arrives to say that Genghis Khan does not want to fight them. Tayan Khan concludes from this that Hasar's brother is afraid to fight them, as he should be. Hasar says that his brother offers them the opportunity to join his banners voluntarily. Tayan Khan tells his men to punish Hasar for his impudence.
A bloody Hasar says that Genghis Khan will punish them. Now the order is given to kill Hasar. A swordsman comes forward and chops off the head of Hasar.
Jamuku spends some time alone thinking. He says now Hasar is with God and has become the wind.
The Naiman and allied troops go to the attack. Archers from both sides take out a lot of men. The enemy troops ride around the forward archers and slam into the camp. The camp, however, is just an empty one with fake soldiers. The massive enemy army is all together in a tight group and now the main archers from the surrounding hills shower arrows down on the enemy men and horses. Then the troops of the Great Khan move into the the enemy force.
Targutai is captured, tied up and his throat is slit. By the use of battle flags the Great Khan sends the different groups of soldiers into battle.
Tayan Khan is told that the position of the enemy was a fake position. The khan doesn't quite understand, so his wife tells him that Genghis Khan has outsmarted them. He has his army at another location.
The two armies charge at each other head to head. Missionary Giovanni di Pian arrives and shouts for them to stop killing each other. His huge cross is shot full of arrows.
A messenger arrives to tell the Great Khan that Jamuka's army is headed straight for them. Genghis Khan just pulls out his sword from its scabbard, but sits waiting. Jamuka gives the order to turn back. Now the messenger tells this to Genghis Khan.
But the fighting continues as the army of Genghis Khan descends on the tent palace of the enemy. Tayan Khan is killed as he tries to hide under the tent. His wife surrenders to Genghis Khan. The battlefields are covered with dead men and horses. The wife and her one warrior escort walk over to Genghis Khan. Behind her comes Genghis Khan's army. The wife starts to tell off the Great Khan. She says he and his renegades are barbarians who fight dishonorably. She tells her escort to kill her and he starts to obey, but the escort's right forearm is hit by an arrow and then another arrow goes into his chest. He falls down dead.
The Great Khan defends his honor and the honor of his men. He basically says he had to do what he had to do. He didn't want it this way, but he was forced into combat. The surviving enemy soldiers will now join his army. And the wife of Tayan Khan will become the wife of Genghis Khan. The woman smears her make-up, but that just makes Genghis laugh. As he laughs, his men join in the laughter.
A holy man tells Genghis Khan that he is writing a history of the Mongolians. The man says about Genghis Khan: "By the will of the Heaven you will change the world, but there will be seas of blood." The Great Khan walks away with an escort of eight men. He comes across Missionary Giovanni di Pian and asks him to bless him. The missionary blesses the Great Khan. The Khan now continues walking.
The Great Khan asks Jamuka to come over to his side for he will be second in command to the Great Khan himself. Jamuka says no. Instead, Jamuka wants his old friend to have him killed.
The Mongolian holy man gives two history books he has written to Missionary Giovanni di Pian and asks him to spread the story of the Great Khan.
Missionary Giovanni di Pian walks to a great Chinese city to tell the story of the Mongolians.
Good movie about how Genghis Khan united the Mongolian tribes into one united land. It starts with the story of his parents coming together and the future Great Khan (known as Temujin) being born. The time of the expansion of the Mongolian Empire is not treated. This is a good quality film with lots of extras in the fighting scenes. Worth watching.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
Genghis Khan (1965) -- 1206-1227
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