Run time: 99 mins

(Subtitled)


A Mongolian teenager faces some tough choices in director Zoljargal Purevdash’s remarkable debut feature.


Poor but prideful teenager, Ulzii, lives in the yurt area of Ulaanbaatar with his family. Despite financial struggles, he possesses an extraordinary talent in physics and dreams of securing a scholarship through a science competition. However, when his mother finds a job in the countryside, leaving him and his younger siblings to fend for themselves in the brutal winter, Ulzii is forced to take on a risky job to provide for them and ensure their survival in the face of adversity.


Skilfully blending humour, warmth and astute observations into a narrative that bursts with authenticity, Purevdash presents a bracing look at present-day Mongolia. The first ever Mongolian entry in the Cannes official selection, the film features impressive performances by non-professional actors, going well beyond mere ethnographic representation and instead grounding itself in honesty. And as Ulzii grapples with difficult choices to ensure his family’s survival, we’re left with a profound sense of hope.


A fantastic, eye-opening exploration of resilience, determination and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

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