Documentary - Completed 2011

Highly acclaimed music group, Anda Union, make a 10,000km journey through the forgotten grasslands on the furthest edges of China revealing the secrets and roots of their hauntingly beautiful music.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 97 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Tim PEARCE, Sophie LASCELLES
    • Producer(s)
    • Tim PEARCE (eye 4 films), Sophie LASCELLES (eye 4 films)
    • Synopsis
    • As the film starts we meet Monkjaya, Nars, Urgen, and Uni all modern Mongolians who today live and work in Hohhot, the capital of the Province of Inner Mongolia in Northern China. Their everyday lives seem not so different from people all over the world, but we discover their hearts are thousands of kilometres away in the grasslands and their mission is to keep their ancient Mongolian culture alive. How does the nomad keep an oral tradition alive in this concrete city? Nars has a school where 20 young students live with him and his family learning to play the horse head fiddle from dawn to dusk. Anda Union members make drums, flutes and Morin Huurs. As a group they keep their music alive by performing to thousands of ecstatic people, Mongolian culture lives on in the city but where does this music come from?
      On our 10,000km journey to meet families and friends in the vast Grasslands of Northern China the source of their music is revealed to us. We discover songs played by the nomads in their homes and how it underpins the fabric of everyday living. Even here far from the cities, where there are no tarmac roads, modern technology has arrived and Mongolians have no problem assimilating it. Here electricity is scarce, but there is always a cell phone signal. Motorbikes are often the ride of choice for modern nomads, and they enjoy their satellite dishes and TV’s, although viewing is dependent on the power of the wind to drive their generators! Amongst this traditional life endures as they prepare their food and live in yurts and continue to live as herders. It is here deep in the grasslands that Anda Union’s music originates. Nars’ Grandfather teaches him a new love song and we follow as Nars and Urgen then learn the song and develop and arrange it with the rest of the band for its debut performance in concert. Urgen’s mother relates how her eldest son, a budding musician, was tragically killed as a teenager and how this became the driving force behind Urgen’s ambition, to fulfil his lost brother’s destiny.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jul 01, 2009