The 1st Yakutia-made epic movie: «By the Will of Genghis Khan»

‘By the Will of Genghis Khan’ is the first epic movie made by the Yakut director, Andrey Borisov, with the financial support of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The official Russian theatrical premier took place on March 12, 2009. On this upcoming Friday, April 09, 2010, it will be shown on the National TV Channel «Russia.» Another big event for us, Yakutians.

Who is Andrey Borisov?

Andrey Borisov, the Yakut director

Well, Andrey Borisov is the person, whom I will not be ever tired of promoting. He is the famous Yakut dramatic art director.

When we say the Sakha Theater, it is immediately associated with his name. No wonder. With his first student work, the play «My Desired Blue Coast», he made the Sakha Theater acclaimed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and many foreign countries. Besides, his first masterpiece brought to him the USSR State Award in the deep Soviet era. Can you comprehend that honor? Maybe, not yet. Well, it is all the same, as if a cinematography department senior student would deserve the Oscar award with his/her diploma work.

The State Award wasn’t his last achievement. While being a stage and art director at the theater, he kept stunning people by getting many prestigious national theatrical awards. Eventually he became the minister of culture of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). More than 15 years passed, and he is still on this position. Believe me, he is not an ordinary official. In the course of that time he staged many plays, he launched The Arctic State University of Culture and Art in Yakutsk, that educated dozens of talented actors and directors.

Finally, he implemented his two big dreams. The first one was to stage the Yakut heroic epos «Olonkho.» He made it true five years ago with the fantastic play «Kyys Djebeliye«. The second one was to make the full-length epic movie. That is exactly what this post is about. A year ago the world received another movie about the Mongolian hero — ‘By the Will Of Genghis Khan’ with Hollywood stars Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Oleg Taktarov. More movie info is here.

Read more about A. Borisov’s biography at

What did Yakutians say about the movie?

First, it is necessary to say that there was much expectation in Yakutia. Locals wished to see it as something tremendous and deserving as minimum as Oscar. When «By the Will Of Genghis Khan» started in local theaters, it was really hard to get tickets. I, for instance, was lucky to book two tickets a week prior to the show.

Second, people experienced discrepant feelings… Like disappointment. The piece appeared to be too Asian-minded, far away from the classic-Hollywood-blockbuster look… Like «What is the hell?». Why is everything done in the strange manner? Is it the sign of movie-making experience absence? Or.. Was Andrey Borisov’s genius brimmed over and he was too original?.. Like uncertainty. Maybe, Yakutia’s government shouldn’t risk and give Andrey Borisov 10 million USD (btw, the final budget varies/goes lower from time to time) to create another movie about Genghis Khan?.. And, finally… Like proud. Whatever people say, Andrey Savvich (as we call him here) just did it, he made the first Yakutian movie, and he was able enough to show the real beauty of Siberia and Asia. Nature in his movie looks just fantastic.

Third, people prefer to keep silence and wait for what the world would say about it.

I am wondering
What will be his next project? Oh, man. I sound like his fan. Maybe, that’s because he made me feel proud of living in Yakutia, the biggest Siberian region. :)

Do I like this movie? Hard to say. See above.

One Comment on “The 1st Yakutia-made epic movie: «By the Will of Genghis Khan»

  1. This film looks fascinating. I can understand, though, why people would have mixed feelings about it. Films like this, that get so much promotion and hype end up raising everyone’s expectations so high that often the result is a disappointment. Still, I have heard about Borisov, and this is a great accomplishment for him.

    I am quite interested in the history of Genghis Khan, and I was a bit disappointed in the film Mongol by Sergei Bodrov. So I will be excited to see this if I can, and compare them…

    Махтал for another great blog entry!

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