"Close to Eden"
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
Russian and Mongolian with English subtitles.