|A scene from Myn Bala - Warriors of the Steppe|
Nothing says Christmas quite like a handsome bowman defending his steppe and mountains against the Dzungar horde. This week, we're watching films about the Mongols, their offshoots, and enemies. No shortage there.
And yes, The Everwayan is back from the dead. We're still not completely sure of our future direction, but we're feeling re-energized by many things these days that are Central, South, and Southeast Asian.
Sunday night we watched the Russian film, "The Horde". It certainly tells the Russian side of the story about the Mongol Yoke, and we had some experience of this a number of years ago in my friend Boris' medieval Russian AD&D campaign.
A very grim and gritty movie. Unromantic. It makes all that crybaby stuff about "Blood Weddings" in A Game of Thrones sound like wedding reception precedence kvetching.
Still and all, I am not sure I would recommend "The Horde" except for die hard Mongol fans. It's definitely not this Horde:
That being said, we watched a very fine movie last night. "Warriors of the Steppe - Myn Bala". Myn Bala is a Kazak film set on the steppes in the 18th Century. It's about the resistance and gradual unification of the Kazak peoples against the Dzungar horse nomads. It was much more enjoyable, and managed to portray the Dzungar as black armored baddies without dwelling in the horrors of their everyday atrocities.
I think this film falls into a more Central Asian "Steppes and Minarets" genre. We're reading a novel in a similar vein called "The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas" by Dmitry Chen, the first novel in his Silk Road Trilogy. Recommended.