We are delivering you the first of two films on Mongolia made by joint Granada Television and Mongol Television in 1974-75.
Mongolia is a fascinating country, medieval in many ways, yet as part of the U.S.S.R. also a communist state. In some ways the collectives suit the nomadic way of life. We see how the flocks are tended. The winters are bitterly cold and the country is magnificent in its contrasts. Made in Socialist Period of time, this film reflects the cultural attitudes and language of the time it was made.
As a Mongolian, this film is very interesting, memorable and offers many to learn. Though Mongolia is as large as all of Western Europe, its population in the mid-1970s numbered a mere 1.5 million. This is the first-ever documentary unit allowed in from the West—that give a rare look at life in a land once deemed remote and inaccessible. On the Edge of the Gobi concentrates on the great plains of Mongolia, where the ancient skills of the Mongol horsemen live side by side with the modern methods of the socialist revolution that brought collective farming to the steppes. Features Owen Lattimore, then professor, Asian explorer, and leading Western authority on Mongolian affairs, as he accompanied the film crew.
“Teacher and researcher, explorer and ethnographer, geographer and historian, one of the leading Western students of China, the West’s leading scholar of Mongolia and inner Asia – these are but some of Owen Lattimore’s claims upon us.”
– Professor Esmond Wright (University of Glasgow), speech on the conferment of Owen Lattimore’s honorary doctorate