O

n the Hunting Ground made by Tian Zhuangzhuang at the invitation of the Inner Mongolia Film Studio. After living for a month with the Mongolians on the grasslands in preparation for the film, he drastically changed the script given to him by the studio. The original story centered around the themes of male dominance and jealousy with a complicated plot; in Tian's film, the narrative element practically disappears. Insofar as a narrative centre exists, it deals with a hunter's transgression of the Mongolian hunting code (laid down by Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century) and his subsequent penance. A semi-documentary--using local herdsmen rather than professional actors--which captures the hunting rituals, rhythms and patterns of daily life in a Mongolian tribe.

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