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DVD Review: ‘Genghis: The Legend of the Ten’

★★★☆☆

The latest release from Metrodome Distribution, the UK specialists in titles which may not catch your eye at the local multiplex, D. Jolbayar and U. Shagdarsuren’s Genghis: The Legend of the Ten (2012) is an authentic Mongolian adventure rich in historical atmosphere. Known throughout history as a feared and ruthless warrior Genghis Khan, founder of the ancient Mongol Empire, also had a compassionate side.

After bloody battles, Khan often scoured the battlefields for orphaned babies boys, whom he took home and adopted as sons, having his own mother bring them up. These babies grew to become some of his most loyal advisers. Ahead of his, time Khan used the decimal system to split and number his warriors into groups the smallest units of which, numbering ten men, were known as ‘aravts’. Each of these groups was led by one man who then answered for them to a larger unit.

Genghis: The Legend of the Ten follows the adventures of one such ‘aravt’, sent by Khan to locate a skilled and holy doctor who lived in the forests of Mongolia. On their journey they discover a baby whom they decide to look after. Unknown to them however, this is the son of one of their sworn enemies who, once he finds out what has happened, sets out to wreak revenge on the group and rescue his beloved child.

Don’t try to follow who the characters are in this period auctioneer, filmed in Mongolia by the Mongol Film Group and Nomadic Cultural Media Company, or indeed what they’re really up to. Though the actors are as authentically brash as one would imagine the real soldiers were, it’s not really worth spending energy on reading too much into what is actually a reasonably simple storyline. Instead the best approach is to sit back and enjoy the sumptuous scenery and exquisite costumes both of which will take your breath away with their rugged beauty and attention to period detail.

Genghis: The Legend of the Ten also partially dispels the myth that these ancient warriors were bloodthirsty savages. The love they show the baby in their midst teaches the viewer a lasting lesson of the compassion to be found in even the most hardened of individuals.

Cleaver Patterson