by Adèle Perrin
Ukhran grew up in a nature reserve on the Causse-Méjean plateau in the south of France. It is a Przewalski’s horse, a prehistoric species native to the Mongolian steppes that was hunted down and declared extinct in the wild in 1969. For the last 30 years, scientists have been setting up a programme in partnership with European zoos and nature reserves to reintroduce the species to Mongolia. Our stallion is part of this programme: one day, the European scientists bring him back to Mongolia, his native land. When he arrived at the Khomyn Tal reserve, in the middle of the Gobi desert, he escaped the scientists’ control and left the enclosure. The stallion’s escape to freedom revealed the tensions between the park’s scientists and the local breeders. The latter are opposed to the creation of an enclosure reserved for this wild horse at a time when their herds are struggling to feed themselves. How can the scientific world justify spending millions to save a prehistoric species in the name of biodiversity, when there are farming families struggling with overgrazing problems in the same area? The film then becomes a road trip in the footsteps of the horse, leading us across the Mongolian steppes to meet the various protagonists. Each of them has a personal story to do with these issues of nature and culture, science and politics, ecology and economics, which will force us to rethink our Western modernity.
The Fugue is produced by Little Big Story, and Lauréat of ” Brouillon d’un rêve ” SCAM June 2023.
Her last short documentary film “Your Home” also shot in between France and Mongolia, is now in post production as part of the Lauréat from FilmWorkout FIFIB and the residency “Un joli Mai” GREC&CNC, produced by The Hangar.