Down And Dirty Filmmaking: The making of ‘Mongol’

"Mongol" may fool you: It's a foreign-language film, yes, but it has enough appeal to pull in the same fanboy audience that made "300" a huge hit. Russian director Sergei Bodrov's Oscar-nominated movie about the early life of Genghis Khan is thoroughly exotic, utterly romantic, beautifully shot and features some of the bloodiest, most astounding battles ever put on screen. It is — no kidding — totally cool. Not that the 59-year-old Bodrov recognized this during the film's grueling shoot.

"When I was making this movie, it was a fight, a battle, a war, and I was thinking only how to survive," says Bodrov in his thick accent. "I was thinking it was a fresh story, nobody had made a movie about this guy before, but when I was making it, I didn't think about the future. Then when it was finished and I saw it for the first time, at the Toronto Film Festival, and I saw how people reacted, I thought, 'This will be good for me.'"

Bodrov isn't kidding with that war metaphor. Shooting in Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan wasn't exactly like a day on the back lot.


Filmmaking, International Cinema

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