Becoming a Man: Tracking the White Reindeer

Explore the snow-capped tundra of northern Mongolia with the Tsaatan tribe. They are a group of nomads who’s specialised in herding reindeers to survive the harsh climate. As the reindeer populations have shrunk over the last decades, however, only few families continue the tradition.

To experience the tribe before they might disappear forever, film-director Hamid Sardar takes it upon himself to film their culture and lifestyle. During this undertaking, he witnesses an important Tsaatan tradition: that of how boys become men.

A young Tsaatan named Quizilol and the beautiful Solongo are in love. To prove to Solongo’s father that he is man enough to marry his daughter, Quizilol has to show he is capable of raising a herd of reindeers by himself. To show his skills, Quizilol’s family gives him a young stallion to start off.

Things are not as clear cut. A raging blizzard intersects Quizilol’s path white herding the reindeer and the stallion escapes into the wilderness. If it crosses the nearby Russian border, it will be lost forever. The young man can only count on himself to capture the animal. Without it, the reindeer will be impossible to control – and with it, Solongo’s hand in marriage is lost along with the respect of the Tsaatan tribe.

Becoming a Man: Tracking the White Reindeer
  • Info
  • Release date2008
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Hamid Sardar
  • Part of the seriesBecoming A Man
  • Production companyZED