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Ze

Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

Mongolia

synopsis

Yurt districts of Ulaanbaatar. Grandpa Spirit is a powerful shaman, well known for helping the poor and downtrodden in the neighbourhood. When Marla, a 16-year-old overprotected and lonely girl with congenital heart problems comes to Grandpa Spirit for help, she is surprised and amused to find Ze, an awkward 17-year-old teenager, underneath the fearsome dressing of the shaman. She beats him at video games and teases him with sexually graphic manga books. Ze is entranced.

The teens find in each other outlets for repressed hormones and first-time experiences. In between stolen kisses, Ze carries out his duty as the comforter to the lost people of the city. When Marla dies, Ze faces the ephemeral nature of life and love, as well as the limits of his powers and tradition.

Ze rejects his spirit and dives into the uncertainty of teenage life, struggling to juggle overbearing parents, an impending graduation, a pregnant sister, and a relentless bully.

intention

In 2014 I went to see a shaman named Uranbold. Although going to shamans was not a new experience for me, meeting Uranbold shocked me, because a young man of twenty-one in jeans and T-shirt appeared from underneath the shamanic robes and headdress after the ritual.

A shaman must balance double lives. He must listen to and guide people who come with problems ranging from infidelity to bankruptcy. He must play the role of psychiatrist, financial adviser, doctor and many more. He must comfort the dying and those they leave behind. And that is just his life outside of school, friendship, and romance.

With Uranbold in mind, I began to form the backstory for Ze. I want to tell a story about the bipolar experience of growing up in contemporary Mongolia, where we lead precarious existences due to ongoing economic instability and underdeveloped social infrastructure. Within this context, shamans play an important role in providing comfort and guidance. Yet they are people, too, living and breathing within the same restraints and freedoms as any other Mongolian.

A story of shamanism, sexual awakening and young love set in contemporary Ulaanbaatar.
6275-lkhagvadulam-purev-ochir
Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

Scriptwriter, Film Director

production notes

original title
Ze

directed by
Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir

produced byGuru Media
Jargalan town 1-4

Khan-Uul District
17010, Ulaanbaatar
Mongolia

current financial need
€ € 350.000