Based on the controversial writings of Russian historian Lev Gumilyov, director Sergei Bodrov's look at the early years in the life of the Mongol conqueror stars Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano as Temudgin (as he was then known), Honglei Sun as Mongol chieftain Jamukha, who was both Temudgin's close friend and mortal enemy, and newcomer Khulan Chuluun as his wife, Borte. Born in the year 1162, Temudgen's childhood was marred by tragedy and peril. But a great battle would seal Temudgen's fate forever, and though history often paints him as a brute, the truth is much more complex. Few historians make mention of the role Temudgen's wife, Borte, played in advising her husband and elevating him to greatness. With Borte by his side, Temudgen would rise to become a fearless visionary whose legacy would still prove potent enough to stir controversy centuries after his death.