A Mongolian Tale

  • 1995
  • 1 HR 43 MIN
  • NR

Filmed entirely in Outer Mongolia with Mongolian language dialogue, Chinese director Xie Fei's deeply sentimental portrait of life on the steppes is a gorgeously photographed travelogue of a rarely seen part of the world. But it's rather less successful on a dramatic level. After the death of his mother, Beiyinpalica (Ganghulag) travels to remote Outer...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Filmed entirely in Outer Mongolia with Mongolian language dialogue, Chinese director Xie Fei's deeply sentimental portrait of life on the steppes is a gorgeously photographed travelogue of a rarely seen part of the world. But it's rather less successful on a

dramatic level. After the death of his mother, Beiyinpalica (Ganghulag) travels to remote Outer Mongolia to live with his foster grandmother, nomadic sheepherder Nai-Nai (Dalarsurong), who is also raising a young girl, Someyer (Bayirtoya). The children grow up best friends, and Nai-Nai encourages

them to one day marry, which they promise to do. But when the teenaged Beiyinpalica (Wendillya) returns home from studying abroad, he finds a grown Someyer (Haxirdun) pregnant with another man's child, and an irreparable breach opens between them. Xie, one of the foremost members of China's

"fourth generation" filmmakers (less internationally celebrated than their fifth-generation successors, who include Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou), has produced a number of psychologically complex films that often revolve around women trapped by cultural traditions (THE GIRL FROM HUNAN, WOMEN FROM

THE LAKE OF SCENTED SOULS). But this film suffers from the simple dichotomy Xie sets up: In his heavily romanticized vision, life in the Outer Mongolian wilds embodies a purity and closeness to nature that have been eradicated elsewhere by civilization and modern living. Xie seems uncomfortable

criticizing age-old Mongolian traditions, for which he may have a bit too much respect.

Emmys

Emmys 2019

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MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS

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