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Film / Yellow Colt

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Yellow Colt is a 2013 film from Mongolia, directed by Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig.

It is set in 2002. (Specific reference is made to the 81st anniversary of the 1921 revolution.) Galt is an eight-year-old boy from a family of nomadic herders. When he was a baby he was very sickly, so, on the advice of a shaman, his family sent him off to live with his great-uncle. As the film opens, the great-uncle has died, so Galt is going home to a family he doesn't know.

His parents and brother are kind and loving and welcome him with open arms, but Galt is still homesick and having problems adjusting. Soon, however, the family has another new visitor. A mysterious yellow colt arrives from parts unknown and joins the herd of horses that is Galt's family's livelihood. His father Badam is reluctant to take in a strange horse, and specifically a branded horse that obviously belongs to someone else, but Galt bonds with the new horse, a stranger like himself. Soon he decides to ride the yellow colt in the local Naadam festival.



  • As You Know: A lot of this in the opening scene between Balam and his friend about how his uncle died, and how the uncle made a saddle for Galt to ride.
  • Big Game: The Naadam horse race, which, per tradition, is raced by children (as opposed to short adults working as jockeys in Western horse racing). It's a big deal, especially since a rich guy attending the festival has offered thirty million tugriks (something like $12,000) for the winning horse.
  • A Boy and His X: An eight-year-old boy bonds with a distinctive yellow colt, taming it himself and riding it in the independence festival horse race. At the end the man who actually owns the horse can't take it home, because it refuses to leave Galt.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Dembee just happens to have the radio on when it plays an advertisement from the clan that actually owns the yellow colt. He hopes to claim the reward, but the owner finds the horse without his help.
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  • Downer Beginning: Galt has to leave the only home he's ever known after his great-uncle dies.
  • Eye Open: The very first shot is a closeup of Galt's face as he weeps copiously. His great-uncle has died and he has to go away.
  • Flashback: A flashback shows how Dembee, Badam's jealous neighbor who wants to win the Naadam race, stole the yellow colt and led it away onto the open steppe. To Dembee's frustration, the colt comes back.
  • Jitter Cam: A lot of bouncy camera shots as Galt rides around on his horse.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of his great-uncle leads to Galt returning to his immediate family.
  • The Rival: Dembee, who knows Badam's family and resents how Badam just happened to have a champion horse show up with his herd out of nowhere. He tries to steal the horse away, but it comes back. He tries to get his little brother Khurlee to cheat in the Naadam race, but Khurlee refuses.
  • Scenery Porn: The film takes full advantage of the jaw-dropping beauty of the Mongolian steppe.
  • Time Passes Montage: The taming of the horse is shown in a montage of Galt lassoing the horse and riding it.