Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts

Friday, 14 September 2018

Student bookshelf: Review and analysis of A Pearl in the Forest


Aurelia Paul recently graduated from Boston University, where she was studying comparative literature and Chinese. In her column Student bookshelf, she shares responses to materials she has explored in her classes.

Today, Aurelia will be discussing a Mongolian film that came out in 2008, Enkhtaivan Agvaantseren’s A Pearl in the Forest.

The Buryat People and Historical Background

This work comments on the persecution of Buryat refugees in Mongolia in the 1930s. The Buryats are the dominant ethnic minority group that lives in Siberia. They speak their own language, also called Buryat. This language is similar to Mongolian and uses the Cyrillic script. Buryats, like Mongols, traditionally live nomadically in gers. However, because of close contact with Russia, some Buryat settlements have become agricultural. People living in these settlements often reside in Russian-style wooden houses, which can be seen in the film. 

In 1923 the Soviet administration created the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Union. However, Stalin was alarmed by the possibility of Soviet resistance from the Buryat community, and so ordered a campaign against them. Thousands of people died as a result of this ethnic violence, and numerous Buddhist sites of worship were destroyed.