Music is the heart-beat of today’s Ulaanbaatar City. But, Od, a once successful but now egotistical singer questions its value. Another bright-hearted singer, Gegee, tries to reconnect him to the joy of their community and heritage. And yet it is a rediscovered traditional song that will show him how to live and how to create.
Long SynopsisUp on the Mongolian steppe, like an island in a vast ocean of grass, Ulaanbaatar City is a bustling, buzzing mass of humanity. With the modern world clashing with traditional ways of life; its young, outward-looking population struggle to express their Mongolian identity.
OD is the lead singer of a successful band. However, he finds himself playing the same songs to ambivalent bar crowds night after night. After an altercation with a drunk audience member, he starts to turn his back on music; leading to tension with his band-mates.
Od’s internal crisis causes him to wander the city’s rooftops or retreat to the peaceful steppe.
At a new job translating for corrupt politicians Od meets GEGEE; who’s name means ‘brightness’. She invites him to experience an old people’s dance group and also meet her MOTHER; who sings them a traditional Mongolian ‘Long Song’.
Together they begin creating a new style of music; fusing contemporary and traditional styles. In so doing Gegee shines a light on the true, deeper meaning of Mongolian music — that happiness is found where individuality and community are intertwined as one.
Gegee suggests they play a small concert and Od reluctantly agrees. However, his fear and depression resurface and he flees to the countryside; leaving her to play the gig alone.
Angered at the betrayal, Gegee performs with Od’s old band-mates. In his downward spiral Od makes a critical mistake at work and looses his job. At rock-bottom he reflects on the meaning of Gegee’s Mother’s ‘Long Song’. This helps him understand the error of his despondency and so he sets to work arranging a large concert as an apology to Gegee. Together they will sing up on the hill.