Mongolian Gold

‘The cello to me is a boat in which I row through the country.’ (Ernst Reijseger)

A documentary in which the unique cellist Ernst Reijseger searches for the Mongolian ‘white gold’, the best horse-hair in the world for a bow. His meeting with students of the National Music Academy, the instrument-builders in the Mongolian capitol Ulaanbaatar, horse-violinists and singers on the steppe, all take place against the background of explosive developments regarding mining and the ever-increasing city-life with its pollution in booming Mongolia. The original nomad-culture with its yearly horse-killing-ritual is under pressure, the horse-tail trade is slowly being taken over by the Chinese. The musicians in Mongolia retain to express their love for their country, their ancestors and their rich history through songs, yet slowly but steadily these poetic lyrics are replaced by criticism and worries about the vulnerability of their country, one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world.

Thomas Doebele & Maarten Schmidt, 7 November 2013