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Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia
A film by Ulrike Ottinger
Germany, 1989, 165 minutes, Color, 35mm/DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W99068
Ulrike Ottinger's epic adventure traces a fantastic encounter between two different worlds. Seven western women travelers meet aboard the sumptuous, meticulously reconstructed Trans-Siberian Express, a rolling museum of European culture. Lady Windemere, an elegant ethnographer played by the incomparable Delphine Seyrig in her last screen role, regales a young companion with Mongol myths and lore while other passengers-a prim tourist (Irm Hermann), a brash Broadway chanteuse and an all-girl klezmer trio-revel in campy dining car cabaret. Suddenly ambushed by a band of Mongol horsewomen, the company is abducted to the plains of Inner Mongolia and embark on a fantastic camel ride across the magnificent countryside. Breathtaking vistas, the lavish costumes of Princess Ulun Iga and her retinue, and the rituals of Mongol life are stunningly rendered by Ottinger's cinematography. Dubbed a female Lawrence of Arabia and just as sweepingly romantic, JOHANNA D'ARC OF MONGOLIA is a grandly entertaining, unforgettable journey.


  • Berlin Film Festival
  • Jerusalem Film Festival
  • Toronto Film Festival of Festivals
  • Montreal Women's Film Festival, Audience Prize
  • Films de Femmes, Créteil, France
  • NY, SF and LA Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals

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    "Wickedly delightful. Who would have believed that life in a yurt could hold this many temptations? Sophisticated, mysterious and deliriously beautiful."
    Sheila Benson
    LA Times

    "Visually spectacular and immensely charming."
    Montreal Gazette

    "Ulrike Ottinger's best film to date."
    LA Weekly

    "A fabulous three-course blend of myth, spectacular visions of an ancient land and frisky song-and-dance. A quixotic and ebullient leap of the imagination. Breathtaking."
    Judy Stone
    SF Chronicle

    "A rare and remarkable film…. sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational… Ottinger has an unrestrainedly lyrical sense of composition..."
    Richard Brody
    The New Yorker

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