By the Will of Genghis Khan is a film that instead focuses on the early years of Genghis Kahn. It begins with him having to flee, and against all odds finds another village where he can survive and hide until he is old enough to fight for himself. If you know the story of Genghis Khan, you should know that he wanted peace, but took an extreme violent path in order to achieve it. If you don’t know much about Khan, this film will frustrate you deeply. The movie goes briskly over the actual history, which implies that you’re expected to know about Genghis Khan before you watch. I suppose on the upside, there are probably very few people in the world who have never heard of Genghis Khan.
Some of the acting is stiff and for some reason they have it dubbed in Russian but they are speaking what appears to be Mongolian. The film puts emphasis onto characters as well as authentic costume designs. This really wraps the film up into a believable venture. Also the beauty of the landscapes are especially breathtaking, ranging from the Gobi desert, the Mongolian Steppes and the ice-covered Kihlyakh mountains in Yakutia. The narrative flow is a little different, but that what makes a foreign film, foreign, right?
One thing hat bothered me is that the director thought that the Russian religon was present among the Mongols which is very inaccurate. Borisov tries to ground his film in importance, adding in scenes of praying and other deep symbolisms, which history buffs might have a bit of a problem with. Since that final scene is rather boring and pretentious, it only adds to the slow pace of the overall project. It is a good film, that is for certain, yet a portrait of a gentle, prayerful man who slaughtered and killed might not sit well with audiences. To argue if this is inaccurate or believable is a valid debate, and one could say showing both the heroic but also the human side of a leader shows that he is flawed like everyone else.
Whatever your stance on the issue might be, Borisov deserves high marks, for completing an ambitious effort on a powerful figure. This movie is definitely recommended to fans of anyone looking for a basic foundation on which to build future research into the early life of Genghis Khan. Pacing, like I detailed above, is a bit slow but once it picks up as he reaches manhood, however, it stays moving very well as it builds up to the climactic end. The vast majority of English speakers will probably have to rely on subtitles throughout, but once the action hits you won’t really care that you’ve been reading for an hour straight. Recommended wholeheartedly, and a vliant effort from a frist time director.