This historical epic charts political intrigue among the Kipchaks, a confederation of tribes on the steppes of central Asia, before they were overrun by Genghis Khan.
A review by laursene:
For any fans of Kurosawa/Mifune samurai epics, of late John Ford-style western epics, or of Peckinpah, it is a must-see. Amirkulov has absorbed all their lessons and more. Fall of Otrar is remarkable - I don't think I've ever seen a "historical eipc" where the cast seemed so perfectly of the time and place (although there's something inescapably modern about the way the leading roles of Ozhu (the Mifune character), Kairkhan and Genghis Khan are conceived). The photography (both the color and B&W sequences) is gorgeous, and Amirkulov displays a sure eye for how to render the Central Asian landscape visually. At 2 hrs 45 mins the film is not overlong - every scene scores its point and everything is so beautiful that at times you just want it to go on and on.
Fall of Otrar is full of quirky humor, throwaway sequences that fit perfectly in a loopy way, and lots and lots of violence. Too many great sequences to sample here, but Kairkhan's fate at the end is not to be missed. Dialogue is florid and utterly in keeping with the visuals.
This is one of those occasions where the moviemakers went to great
trouble and expense to produce something that looks and feels like
primal folklore. They succeeded. Made me feel that movies have been with
us, mentally, since the beginning of time, that they satisfy a craving
for a certain way to tell a story about ourselves that we've always
known we could do. It's wonderful to see this achieved so well.