In a rural area of Mongolia where a person with down syndrome rarely seen, if recognized highly ostracized or seriously stigmatized by the society, a boy Jam /Fate/ with trisomy grow up with the help of loving mother. His mother chose to live keeping distance from people in order to raise her son peacefully avoiding the risk of social discrimination. For that purpose, she had her youngest daughter adopted by another person and so daughter could have a better life. Mother left the town to a remote are to do animal husbandry to provide everyday needs. As the days elapse, Mother passed away due to old age and Jam faces with the life altering moment of psychological, emotional, and physical distress.
Jam fortuitously met a monk at the difficult time when he could not comprehend due to his mother’s sudden passing away. The monk, who had been practicing meditative seclusion on in the wild for a long time, helped Jam to perform the traditional Mongolian ritual of open-air burial and both re-develops the deep spiritual connection with the natural and wildlife. While doing this, they put a mark on the mother's body in accordance with the Mongolian nomadic custom so that Jam could recognize his mother when she reincarnated in reborn.
While doing this, they put a mark on the mother’s body in accordance with the custom of Mongolian traditional burial/funeral so that the Jam could recognize his mother when she reincarnated in reborn.
Loneliness and the sudden loss of his beloved mother, grievances and mourning fall upon Jam for a while. However, he returns to a normal independent life with the knowledge of his mother’s teachings. His adopted sister was pregnant when their mother died. Five years later, his sister came to Jam with her daughter to return together to the place where her mother had been inhumated. Jam suddenly went overwhelmed to see his mother’s mark on his niece’s hand. This is the nature of love, the interdependence of man and nature, the eternal lineage of the mother and offspring, the meaning of human life.
A human life is nothing but a dwelling in the intertwined trinity of the past, present and future or in the realm of the TRIO under the father heaven and the mother earth. There is no way one can escape in the midway. Humans come onto earth and return into earth, and that is the only truth. Even as time passes, attuned mental talk between the mother and the child, breathing and living under the sun with one heart do not fade but become more like an eternal spiritual lullaby to each other, and this is the natural law. The tendency to be rude, overly compassionate, or discriminating against people with Down Syndrome, as well as rude explanations in connection with the words Mongol, Mongoloid and Mongolism, has not disappeared from our society. The world speaks many languages, but we have only one common language. This is love.
Leave no one behind!
Mr. Battumur Dorj is Mongolian well-known actor who appeared in more than 30 feature films and played on main and supporting character of more than 50 theater acts since the graduation of Mongolian arts of Science University in Acting.
Since 2010, he produced more than 10 commercially successful films such as Rashaant 18 (2010) Enemy of Mother (2011) and The Boss of Microbus (2013) and established him as a one of the high profile and leading man of Mongolian film industry.
In 2022, he began his directorial debut with the TRIO drama film based on his own life experience after the sudden passing of his mother. He wrote the film script and played the main character.
What makes you fascinated with the cinematic language and what was the first film project
you worked on?
My first movie project was more than decade ago. That project was about a blind man and the
movie name was “Rashaant 18th”. Therefore, it was challenging for me as a professional actor
to talk special cinematic language with audience. Film industry is fascinating sector not only to
entertain but also and most importantly to educate the public. Movie is my work, and an actor is
my profession. I must respect my audience and I shall educate the public in order to contribute
back to society by doing positive change. Movie is very different from theatrical art. Because
the movie lasts longer and can be seen easily after so many years and whenever and where
ever what nowadays.
Please tell us how Trio came to life and let us know about the process from pre-production
Just a few years ago TRIO’s product Ganzorig Vanchig and I lost our mothers. Mongolian
traditional religion is Buddhism which is my family follow. When my mom passed away, the
monk advised my family that, if possible, it was better to practice an open-air burial by
following my family’s belief and Mongolian nomadic tradition. I did so. Our family never did
such a practice before and it made me to put into thought so much. Therefore, I decided to
direct my first movie and play as a leading actor too. I could work with other directors but I
found out that it was not easy to feel others what I feel. Then we worked closely with the Down
Syndrome Association Mongolia, which is chaired by producer Ganzorig Vanchig on this project.
So “TRIO” film was produced not only to show the Mongolian beautiful nature and nomadic
culture to the world but also to defend human rights, to promote inclusive society, to raise
public awareness of Down Syndrome globally, to fight discrimination, to support racial equity,
and to terminate historic misuse of the term “Mongol”, ”Mongolism”, and ”Mongoloid”. This is
a debut film for our team. My first directed movie, Altangerel Oyunsaikhan’s first film script,
and Ganzorig Vanchig and Bulgantamur Ganbat’s first movie to produce.
What was the most challenging aspect of working on this genre?
One of the key actors of these movie is Telmuun Tulga who is a Mongolian boy with Down
syndrome. This is the very first case in the Mongolian film industry to include differently abled
person in order to leave no one behind! In fact, during the production period Telmuun Tulga did
not act. The beauty of people with Down syndrome is they are so authentic. They do not know
to lie or to act. It was great journey for me to get to know each other and feel his special world.
The most challenging aspect to me was to act as a person with Down syndrome. In order to
create such a role, I did extensive research and worked with special schools and their teachers
for a year. Down Syndrome Association Mongolia was our prime associate on this project not
only to support the film but also to advise me.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
I am working on now for my next film project which is about a messenger during the Great
Mongol Empire. It will be a historical art. In addition to this, TRIO team has been working on a
film script about an intellectually disabled man and his social and sexual challenges. It is a very
tough topic but nobody touches. As a movie team, we have to reveal this, and people shall know
differently abled people’s everyday challenges in order to create inclusive society and to defend
What is the most creative part of directing a project for you?
I would say Mongolian weather, nature, and animals. Nobody can control mother nature. But
we had many lucky and amazing creative moments to catch the fine pieces or never repeated
precious chances. We spent two years for production in order to shoot four seasons. You will
feel Mongolian beautiful winter, spring, summer, and autumn when you see TRIO film. We did a
shooting in seven Mongolian provinces and more than 10 different small towns starting from
far-right Mongolia’s remote place to great Gobi Desert and amazing central and eastern
Does the language of cinema stand out more than other arts to you? And why?
Cinema is a special art. Great films’ value increases more with time. My children and
grandchildren will never have what we are experiencing today in terms of our nomadic culture.
Unfortunately, it seems that some of our nomadic culture and religious tradition will disappear
because of urbanism and globalization. It is our duty to make it forever in the film by using the
language of cinema! These film archive’s value priceless in the future!
Why do you make films?
As an actor and a director, I must contribute not only my professional community but also
wider society. Therefore, we must address social issues, protect environment, value human
rights and sustainable development and strengthen inclusive world. My commitment is to
influence society and to bring positive changes and better future for our next generation.