GENGHIS KHAN : To the Ends of the Earth and Sea (2008)

Genghis Khan, pic courtesy of

Genghis Khan, pic courtesy of

Director Shinichiro Sawai & his supporting cast of Japanese artists re-created their birds eye view on the biographical epical tale of Genghis Khan when he was simply known as Temujin from child birth. This movie was most certainly epic in all aspects of the word. The costume design, acting, & the geographical landscape of Mongolia was stunning! In my opinion, the panned out shots showing the vastness of Mongolia’s land where the battles took place, alone are worth the price of admission. The scenery & cinematography in this film were absolutely amazing. The movie was most pleasing to the eye, & entertaining to the soul. However, being that I’m not a historian or expert of the man, the myth, & the legend of Genghis Khan, I obviously can’t tell you the accuracy of this tale told through the filmmakers eye. It’s important to remember that there are many sides to a story especially if it pertains to a fact in world history. Although, I can probably tell you the Mongolians probably agreed with the filmmakers version because I’m sure the brass in Mongolia have to approve of the story told that was filmed on location depicting their local hero before being released to the masses at large. If you ask the Chinese about the history of the Mongols, I’m sure they might tell you different. That being said, the film had a Japanese feel to it with no surprise because of Sawai’s background. I felt that the code of ethics for the samurai were inflicted in this story of the Mongolians & Temujin which I don’t necessarily agree with. The perception of the Mongolian warriors were tribal in nature which usually involved words like savagery, brutality, survival, & braveheart all come to mind. I’m not sure I would throw in Samurai code in that same sentence. Getting back to the story, the movie is about the tribulations of a young Temujin/Genghis who is the son of a respected tribal leader. Hoelun, the mother was originally from the Merkit Tribe. Hoelun was kidnapped by this honorable Tribe leader(future husband) which then forced Hoelun to be his wife whom eventually gave birth to Temujin. Temujin’s father eventually falls to the bowels of battle & a new leader awaits in the wing. Temujin & the mom, gets ousted from royalty because their blood is encrusted with that of the Merkit tribe. So hence, the new adventures of the young lad & his destiny of greatness begins. Mongolia is in a state of distress with constant warring between tribal fueds. Temujin grows up to be a righteous & respectable leader of his small tribe with the dreams of uniting the Mongolian nation as part of his horizons. He makes a pact with his childhood friend, Jumuqa to unite the strength of all Mongolians. Meanwhile, tribal disputes amongst the vast land runs rampant & the current Khan in leadership is playing one tribe over the other in order to rid the lesser of 2 evils. All is well with Temujin as his leadership within his clan is of the utmost honorable in nature & eventually weds with his lady, Borte. In the scenes to come, Borte gets kidnapped by a martyr. So, then goes the story with the pursuit of his wife, but upon eventual discovery, Borte is pregnant without Temujin’s DNA. Tochi is born & a 2nd chapter of Temujin’s tribal leadership has risen with a son in mind that is eerily similiar to his own background. Temujin crosses path with a woman soldier named Kulan that possesses enormous amounts of pride for her gender inspite of the usual Mongolian female destiny of being raped, & bearing children. Kulan has a deadly mix of fighting spirit & having the qualities of a lady with tremendous fortitude. Temujin admires Kulan & must have her in all senses of the word. So, goes the 3rd chapter of battle when Temujin faces the inevitable battle against his childhood friend, Jamuqa with the current Khan’s endorsements in order to rid of Temujin. Temujin reigned supreme at the end, killing his friend & the current Khan sire. The final conclusion to the movie is the beginning of Genghis Khan’s career of getting a stronghold in the asian nation & part of the European world by his first conquest across the Great Wall of China to battle the Jin! Unfortunately, his premonition of sending his son, Tochi to lead the charge over the Great Wall was never realized because Tochi was dying from consumption of a poisoned arrow from tribal battles up north. I’ll leave you with the ending dialogue between Genghis/Temujin & his woman warrior, Kulan :

“I will go on as far as I can, With every land I conquer, more borders between nations will vanish. People will travel freely and trade will flourish. Cultures and customs will be honored and all will live well.” – Genghis Khan

“But make war and there will be bloodshed,” – Kulan .

Replies Genghis Khan, “That is bloodshed that cannot be helped, to insure that no further blood need be spilled.”

Go get yourself a Mongolian BBQ, some hot pot, & embrace yourself in front of the screen for 3 hours or so for this epic tale told by an elitist!

–Mr. C (Rating of Genghis Khan – 6 out of 10 Concubines)

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  • Rick Boyer  On February 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

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