1-World Festival of Foreign Films
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"Close to Eden"
("Urga")

1991
Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov

This French and Russian co-production is set in contemporary times on the Steppes of Inner Mongolia.  Gombo and Pagma are a husband and wife who live on the Steppes with their three children and a grandmother. The Chinese government has made an exception to the "one child" rule that applies to the rest of China, and allows families within the ethnic Mongolian minority to have two children. With three children already, Pagma knows that her third child will be disadvantaged,  denied school and other government services. Their contact with the stranded and gregarious Russian truckdriver, Sergei, provides obvious culture comparisons. Close to Eden provides a fascinating anthropological glimpse into a vanishing way of life. Russian and Mongolian with English subtitles.
118 minutes.



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