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Films

Documentary “The Wild East – Portrait of an Urban Nomad”.
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“This documentary provides insight into the socioeconomic effects of the relatively recent shift from Soviet-style socialism to capitalism on the lives of the citizens of Mongolia. Though the film chiefly chronicles the efforts of the young adult friends, Sasha and Jenya, to find some kind of lasting, gainful employment in Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital and largest city, it also provides commentary on the enormous changes wrought on the lives of other generations and on rural populations. Though the withdrawal of Soviet support in the early 1990’s and capitalist economic reform of 1995 produced great poverty in Mongolia, the current situation is compounded by a crumbling urban infrastructure and the growth of the tent and shanty cities the starving rurals have built looking for economic relief in the city. There no longer is a future for Mongolia’s working class and there’s little relief from government or international organizations in sight”. (Educational Media Reviews Online)

 

“The Wild East broaches several critical issues of post-Socialist countries from the vantage point of two likable young men … whose ethnicity is not mainstream — All in all, I like the video very much; I feel it is well researched and presents major issues in Mongolia today … People usually assume Mongolia is occupied by happy, uneducated pastoral nomads who like fast horses and the freedom to roam. This, of course, is not true …I believe The Wild East is a great vehicle for teaching people about the problems and pleasures of this former Soviet satellite”.

Paula Sabloff, Santa Fe Institute, Visual Anthropology Review, 2004. Vol 20 (2): 90-92.