Tamir Bayarsaikhan Sarangua Altankhuyagyn Sodgerel Bold Gombyn Raydan Damdin Baatartsogt Michel Reginald Huguenin

Tamir Bayarsaikhan Sarangua Altankhuyagyn Sodgerel Bold Gombyn Raydan Damdin Baatartsogt Michel Reginald Huguenin

The majestic backdrop of the Mongolian steppes became familiar to international cinemagoers via Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Urga,” and the same landscapes are on display in “Aldas,” which is a lesser film but which still provides a fascinating insight into contemporary Mongolian life and culture. Festival support is a must, but, at this stage, theatrical chances are slim for this raw but heartfeltopus.

Near the beginning of the film a dramatic culture clash is depicted as a gang of bikers from the city invades the peaceful camp of shepherds, who still live a traditional lifestyle, and this sets the scene for the drama that follows.

Tamir, who was raised in the traditional Mongolian peasant tradition by his grandfather, wants to be a boxer. In the country’s capital, Ulan Bator, he’s taken up by top boxing coach Bold, and soon falls for Bold’s comely daughter, Sarangua, a sophisticated young woman with Western tastes and a French boyfriend on the side. In the timeless tradition of other boxing mellers, Tamir takes to drink and neglects his training because of the faithless femme. An added wrinkle is the death of a poet friend, Damdin, in a fight for which Tamir is blamed.

Production values, boosted by Euro imports in some key departments, are low-key but acceptable. Bayarsaikhan is rather expressionless as the tormented Tamir, but Altankhuyagyn Sodgerel, who sheds her clothes on occasion, enthusiastically joins the lengthy ranks of movie bad girls.

Plotting leaves something to be desired, but overall this is an intriguing, if somber, melodrama that packs a punch. Film’s title is unexplained.



Production: A 7 Stars (Ulan Bator)/RGP Prods. (Paris) co-production, in association with Skyline. (International sales: Ciby Sales, London.) Produced by Franz-Christoph Ciercke. Directed by Choymbolyn Jumdaan. Screenplay, Jumdaan, Sorgodgiin Bayarsakhan.

Crew: Camera (color), Jean-Louis Vialard: editor, Florence Bon; sound, Pascal Armant; assistant director, Byambadorj. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (noncompeting) Aug. 26, 1995. Running time: 87 MIN.

More Film

  • Luca Guadagnino Teams With Valentino on

    Luca Guadagnino Teams With Valentino Designer on Short Film Starring Julianne Moore (EXCLUSIVE)

    Luca Guadagnino has teamed up with Italian designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of the Valentino fashion house, to make a short movie fusing the aesthetics of film and haute couture and featuring an A-list cast comprising Julianne Moore, Kyle MacLachlan, Marthe Keller, KiKi Layne, Mia Goth and Alba Rohrwacher. The 35-minute film, portraying different chapters [...]

  • Trailer for Berlin Panorama Opener 'Flatland'

    Trailer for Berlin Panorama Opener 'Flatland' Revealed (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for Jenna Bass’s “Flatland,” which is the opening film of Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Sales are being handled by The Match Factory. The South African film is a contemporary Western centering on a journey of self-discovery for three different but equally trapped women. “It paints [...]

  • 'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-and-Date China Release

    'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-and-Date China Release

    Marvel Studios’ hotly anticipated blockbuster “Captain Marvel” will hit Chinese theaters on the same day as it debuts in North America. The Brie Larson-starring picture will release on March 8, 2019, which is also International Women’s Day. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the film tells the story of Carol Danvers, a former fighter [...]

  • Peter Rabbit trailer

    Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.6% in 2018

    Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films. Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Assn. of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 [...]

  • Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content