Close to Eden

Essay by bontigaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2008

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At the beginning of the film, the audiences are impressed the vast and green prairie. This landscape is a big image about nature that people could not figure correctly. Different people will have different viewpoint about their landscape.

The main character in this film—Gombo, a Mongolian man--inherits manners from his ancestors although he lives in China. Based on his culture, he conceives landscape as his house, his family, and his cattle.

Gombo lived and satisfied with his life until he met Sergei—a Russian road builder. The acquaintance helps Gombo to recognize there is a new landscape outside his own landscape. He wants to explore it curiously.

There is interference between two different cultures—the Western culture with the representation of Seiger and the Eastern culture with the representation of Gombo. Although they have different viewpoint about life, two men became good friends and respected with each other.

I like the two different images in this film—a span of an eagle above a vast meadow as an image of freedom in the natural life and a beautiful canary in a cage as an image of dependence in the civilized life.

When Gombo got in touch with the civilized life, he was confused. After that he saw the reflection of his people’s history through the TV screen. This detail confirms that landscape is the reflection of human’s thoughts.

At the end of the film, I like the image about the place where Gombo marked his urga in the past now becomes a chimney of a factory where his fourth son works. It is the inheritance and development of outlook on life from a generation to another generation.

In short, through landscape humans can identify their national identity and culture plays key role in the definition of landscape. Humans use landscape as a value and trophy in order to dominate nature.

Bibliography:Mikhalov, Nikita. Close to Eden. France/Soviet Union, 1991.