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If there was ever a film that successfully captured the essence of the shamanic spirit this is the film. Released in '06, the Belgian production `Khadak' (meaning: The Color of Water) transports the audience not only to the remote, barren world of the Mongolian steppes but into an interior, archaic landscape accessed only through the ancient, shamanic practices of the traditional pastoral people of that region.
Unfortunately this is not a film that will attract a large, appreciative audience. Unless you have a working knowledge of the core elements of the shamanic worldview you will have a difficult time following the storyline.
Things you need to be familiar with if you're to fully enjoy this film:
- Spirit of Place
- Ancestral dreaming
- Shamanic drumming
- Out-of-body travel
- Soul retrieval
Also required are an understanding of viable `Doorways to the Otherworld' that allow a shaman to travel to other planes of existence such as a hole in the earth, or a body of water. Not to leave out the most important of all, the World Tree or `Axis Mundi' is a central figure in this film and to miss its meaning is to misunderstand the central message of the film.
Having said all that I would also challenge those unfamiliar with the archaic spiritual dimension to give `Khadak' a try anyway. There are several more accessible storylines you might enjoy such as the political ramifications of uprooting the old ways with forced modernity as well as a bittersweet romance between the young shaman Bagi (Batzul Khayanhyarvaa) and the beautiful Zolzaya (Tsetsegee Byamba).Read more ›
KHADAK is a incredibly beautiful, mind-blowing film that will take the viewer to another world - it offers rare insights into a culture about which most people in the West (or most of the planet, for that matter), I'll wager, know very little...Mongolia. Critics have called it `stunning' and `beautiful and mysterious', and comparisons to Fellini have been made. The story is set in the present day, but it is rife with customs and beliefs that go back for thousands of years. Using magical-realist imagery and time-shifting, non-linear storytelling techniques (which, for me, brought to mind the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, Theo Angelopoulos and Nuri Bilge Ceylan, as well as the aforementioned Federico Fellini), the directors plunge the audience into the story they're telling - and while it is firmly planted in its setting, it has lessons to convey to all of us, if we will but pay attention and let it wash over us.
The center of the film is Bagi, a young man who lives with his mother and grandfather on the frigid steppes of Mongolia - they herd sheep to survive and have little contact with the outside world, although they are not unaware of its existence. One day they and their far-flung neighbors are contacted by representatives of the government who inform them, with little ceremony, compassion or subtlety, that all of their animals are infected with an unnamed `plague' and must be destroyed. Bagi's family, along with the others in the area, are to be forcibly relocated to more modern environs and assimilated into the workforce there.Read more ›
First off this film is visually stunning. Absolute and complete beauty and brilliance. I don't think I'll ever forget the Mongolian string band scene. Ever. Emotionally captivating as well.
This film's creators have another one coming, Fragments of Grace - like Khadak, it uses real historical circumstances to create a fictitious story, this time in the Andes, and I cannot wait.
Box office hits are fun and all, but this is artistic, beautiful film making at its best. Way to go, cast and crew. Do yourself a favor and watch the 'extras' on this DVD and learn more about the people who made this film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Way too artistic for me. Half the time I couldn't tell when Bagi was "dreaming" and when it was real time. Read morePublished on September 15, 2012 by Chi Guy
Will not repeat the contributions of others. All were helpful except the guy who wanted a Rambo hero (LMAO). Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by Literato
it was really great and i must appreciate the filmmaker and all crew to believe on this kind of subject and create an astonishing film as well as a voice, which will stay on, rest... Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Amazon Customer
This movie has some great scenery, great music, and a really great looking girl. However the plot doesn't make a lot of sense. Read morePublished on November 15, 2010 by Iliebeneathyou