Out of Paradise (2018 film)
Out of Paradise is a 2018 Swiss-Mongolian drama film directed and written by Batbayar Chogsom. The feature film focusses on a traditional Mongolian couple and their struggle to get a professional C-section and a secure delivery of their first child. The film can also be considered a road movie because the couple has to travel from their home in the Mongolian steppe to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, where they have to face even more challenges. After Out of Paradise was first shown in 2018 at Solothurn Film Festival (SFT) the film won the Golden Goblet Award for Best Feature Film at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival the same year.
The married couple Dorj and Suren lead a peaceful life as nomads in the Mongolian steppe. Suren is pregnant and they are anxious about having their first child. Suddenly their lives change as a local doctor advises them to travel to Ulaanbaatar, because he finds evidence that the unborn child as well as the mother are in severe danger. After two miscarriages they don't want to take any risk and so their trip to Ulaanbaatar begins.
Neither Dorj nor Suren know how to drive a car, so a young man called Ganbaa takes them in his truck. The situation between the three gets more and more difficult day by day and finally Dorj and Ganbaa end up fighting because Ganbaa can't keep his distance from the attractive young woman Suren.
Finally, the couple arrives in Ulaanbaatar, but they can't afford the hospital treatment. Dorj decides to sell Suren's golden ear rings, his wedding gift. Stressed out by this whole situation he loses one ear ring and does not get enough money for the other one because nobody wants only one ear ring. Acknowledging his hopeless situation, he starts drinking in a hotel bar. There he meets Saraa, a prostitute, that starts to flirt with him. Finally, he tells her his story and she pities him. She tells him about a karaoke contest that night, where he could win lots of money. Nobody there would have guessed that this nomad could actually sing! Dorj wins the money and spends the night with Saraa.
In the morning hours Saraa gets a call from her pimp, Jack. He wants the money that she was supposed to earn that night. Threatened by Jack Saraa steals Dorj's wallet and hands it over to Jack. But the wallet is empty because Dorj hid the money. Jack gets so angry that he decides to kidnap Dorj and take all the money from him. In a dramatic fight Dorj wins against Jack and his hitmen. Jack dies in that fight.
The next morning Dorj arrives at the hospital where Suren is still waiting for the C-section. He pays the fee, but Suren confronts him with the second ring that was found on the floor. She asks him where he got the money from and they end up having a terrible argument. We see Dorj leaving the hospital and they seem to go their separate ways.
After Suren gives birth she is taken back to the steppe in a shared taxi. Suddenly she spots Dorj standing at a crossroad waiting…
Out of Paradise is the first feature film made by the Swiss-Mongolian filmmaker Batbayar Chogsom. Chogsom was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar and is well acquainted with Mongolian traditions. He migrated to Switzerland to study Popular Cultures, Cultural and Social Anthropology as well as Political Sciences. Afterwards he entered the film business, his lifetime dream. The idea for this story came from his experience of becoming a father himself in 2009. This makes it a very personal film that deals with the filmmaker’s own history, with his views on life and death and how they can interfere with the process of pregnancy and birth.
After a first travel to Mongolia to find a location and the cast a teaser was produced. A second trip to Mongolia was therefore necessary and the teaser could be finished in 2015. The same year a major production company agreed to support the film, so did other donors. Chogsom and his crew returned to Mongolia in 2016 to shoot the complete film. After the postproduction was completed in 2017 the film was released in 2018.
Although the film was not very popular in Switzerland it can be seen as the most successful Swiss production in 2018. No other Swiss film won a comparing prize within the competition of an international festival that year. The last swiss film awarded by the jury of a so-called A Class Festival dates back to 1995. The jury of the 21th Shanghai Film Festival called the film "plain but not simple, honest and poetic." Unfortunately, Out of Paradise has not been shown in Mongolian cinemas or festivals yet, but the film has had screenings in Asia, Europe and in the US and has had good coverage within major swiss newspapers.
Out of Paradise won the Golden Goblet in the category Best Feature Film at 21th Shanghai Film Festival 2018.
Out of Paradise Official Trailer
- Dukascopy 电视（中文） (2018-07-16), 电影的产出就是一个决策过程-Batbayar Chogsom's debut film ’Out of Paradise' won Golden Goblet on SIFF, retrieved 2019-03-17
- "Shanghai Fest: Mongolia's 'Out of Paradise' Takes Best Film, Tye Sheridan Wins Best Actor". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Out of Paradise | Festival International de Films de Fribourg". www.fiff.ch. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- Scanlon, Hayley (2019-03-13). "Out of Paradise (Batbayar Chogsom, 2018)". Windows on Worlds. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- "New York Film Academy - Upcoming Events". www.nyfa.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- Bühler, Urs (2018-09-26). "«Out of Paradise» – eine mongolische Odyssee | NZZ" (in Deutsch). ISSN 0376-6829. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- Schüepp, Werner (2018-06-26). "Zürcher Filmemacher räumt in China ab". Tages-Anzeiger (in Deutsch). ISSN 1422-9994. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- 代艳. "Out of Paradise bags top award at Shanghai film festival - Chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
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