Film Review: All the Wild Horses

Mongolia is the largest land-locked country in the world. During the 13th and 14th centuries, under the rule of the Khans, the Mongol Empire was the largest this world has ever seen. A large minority of Mongolians are still nomadic peoples, and with huge expanses of country to cross, they’re reliant on their animals. There are more horses than people in Mongolia and they’ve been integral to almost every facet of life for centuries. As the saying goes, “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”.

Genghis Khan established a horse messenger system in 1224. The Mongol Derby, an equestrian endurance race covering 1000 kilometres, recreates this network to create a challenge like no other. In All the Wild Horses, the new documentary written, directed and filmed by Ivo Marloh, follows the competitors from around the world as they race between the 27 horse stations on the Mongolian steppe. A race fraught with danger.

All the Wild Horses is a breathtaking documentary where the real stars are the horses themselves. It’s beautifully shot. Marloh brings events to life with exhilarating camera work, set to the backdrop of the beautiful Mongolian steppe. The combination of competitive sport, endurance, survival and camaraderie makes for riveting viewing. What shines through is the bond which grows between the riders. However, whilst it feels as much as an expedition as a race at times, there’s also a steely determination which spurs these jockeys on. All the Wild Horses is a scintillating adventure.

All the Wild Horses is out in cinemas from 8 June.

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