They Sing up on the Hill expands the perception of what it means to be Mongolian in the world. It also reflects the modern challenges facing Ulaanbaatar’s young, tuned-in population.
Mongolian cinema has had notable successes in recent years; from The Story of the Weeping Camel (2003) to The Eagle Huntress (2016). However, these internationally co-produced documentaries offer only a narrow, rural vision of life in modern Mongolia.
Everyone involved in They Sing up on the Hill, both cast and crew, are passionate about presenting a true vision of ‘UB’ (Ulaanbaatar) city life. There are struggles and pressures; but also raw creativity and community. If Dublin has Once; Ulaanbaatar now has They Sing up on the Hill.
Ian and Amga have been involved in the Mongolian alternative music scene since 2003; having made several much loved music videos. In 2019 that scene is as vibrant as ever; as the baby-boom population use music to express their Mongolian identity in a globally connected world.
‘Western’ pop, rock and hiphop has been widely listened to in Mongolia for over two decades. However, during this time young artists did not engage with the traditional Mongolian instruments and styles, viewing them as separate folk curiosities.
Today, they are rediscovering the music of their heritage and blending it into contemporary styles. And so thematically, the film’s music conveys how its protagonist, Od, can reconcile his present day anxieties by reconnecting with his community through their shared musical past.
Six original tracks were composed by the lead actor and actress; both popular artists in their own right. Additionally, all the music in the film was ambitiously recorded live ‘on set’; creating honest and heart-felt performances.
Our ultimate intention is to create a bright, positive and yet deeply honest Mongolian film. Listen with your heart!