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Khadak (2006)

Batzul Khayankhyarvaa , Tsetsegee Byamba , Peter Brosens , Jessica Woodworth  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Batzul Khayankhyarvaa, Tsetsegee Byamba, Damchaa Banzar, Tserendarizav Dashnyam, Dugarsuren Dagvadorj
  • Directors: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: LIFESIZE ENT.
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2008
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010S6ERY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,155 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A magical -realist fable set in the frozen steppes of Mongolia, KHADAK tells the epic story of Bagi, a young nomad shepherd who confronts his destiny to become a shaman.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Note: Contrary to the "Product Details" information this DVD is presented in Mongolian with English subtitles.

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).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surreal Dreamwork from Mongolia March 28, 2008
A totally arbitrary choice of rental...but, oh, what a find. If you like a straightforward story, without confusion or ambiguity, then avoid this film. If you're a foreign film addict, love Tarkovsky and Bergman...then this is a jewel. Set to a beautiful Kronos-quartet style score, this film takes place during the winter in Mongolia. Under the false auspices (spoiler) of an animal pandemic, a group of nomads are forced out of their homes (urts) and nomadic life in order to work as coal miners. A young, nomadic shaman attempts to change the status quo. Buy Kurosawa's "Dersu Uzala" for a great companion piece.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, revelatory cinema... May 27, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
[ n.b. - The plot elements I mention in this review reveal little more about the film than you might read on the DVD box, or from viewing a trailer... ]

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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Like another reviewer here, my rental of this film was completely arbitrary - and like that reviewer, what a surprise!

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars culture collision July 24, 2008
Producers and writers Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope Woodworth combine bleak realism and artistic surrealism in this film set on the frigid Mongolian steppe. The teenager Bagi and his family are nomadic herders who are forcibly relocated by the government under the ruse of a plague. They are resettled in a grimy mining town where monster machines gash coal from the earth, dilapidated high rises loom out of the barren landscape, and steamy smoke belches from every chimney. As a youngster on the Mongolian steppe, Bagi had seizures. A shamaness in the desert interpreted this as a spiritual gift; in the government hospital, doctors in white coats called it epilepsy. In Bagi's clairvoyance and premonitions, time, space and relations get rearranged in a collision of worldviews that is both literal and deeply figurative. Khadak has earned awards from Sundance, Venice, and Toronto film festivals. In Mongolian with English subtitles.
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