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I always try to include film clips, trailers, cartoons –anything to increase student interest - in all my units. I first came across the film, Mongol, two years ago when teaching my AP World History class about the Mongols. The film Mongol is a 2007 release from the Russian director, Sergei Bodrov. The film covers the life of Temüjin from a young boy to becoming the khan of all Mongols (Genghis Khan). It does a great job of dispelling the idea that all Mongols were savage barbarians. The filmmakers did an excellent job of showing the diverse and challenging environment; the movie was filmed in Mongolia and Kazakhstan. This enables students to recognize the result of constant competition of land and resources.

It was meant to be the first of a three part series, but I cannot find any information about a part two in development. It is rated R due to the bloody fighting scenes – there are about four. There is one intimate scene, but it only shows shadows with a few telltale noises. My students turn in a permission slip to be able to watch the film in class. Even with that slip, I still skip the majority of battle scenes and the shadowy love scene. They see enough violence and sex on their own. When I turn the projector off during the aforementioned scenes, my room is filled with complaints – especially the love scene. One boy this year proclaimed, “We’ll never know Mongolian style.” 10th graders are hormonal creatures. The film is a little over 2 hours, and they do not watch it all in one sitting. During my unit on Mongol rule in the four khanates (Jagadai, Yuan, Il Khan, and Golden Horde) the students get to watch it the last 30 minutes of class – time permitting. We are on block schedule, so that gives me a good 70 minutes of lecturing, group work, etc.