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Watch this short movie on you tube, The Secret History of Genghis Kah, Documentary of Conqueror Genghis Khan ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnUiOqsYtno ).

Write a reflection paper about it in four parts.

Part 1: Provide an overview of the video. (3 pages)
Part 2: Focus on one particular dimension of the video. Describe in detail why this point captured your attention. (1 page)
Part 3: How much of this information was new to you? How much was previously familiar to you? Why does knowledge of this subject matter? Can you make a local/global connection? (1 page)
Part 4: What are the pros and cons of visual sources for study of history? (1 page)



The documentary, secret history of Genghis khan, which is authored by John Man, presents the untold story of a man who was believed to have been born in a supernatural way. During his birth, Genghis khan emerged clutching a blood clot on his right hand that was interpreted by the wise men of Mongolia as a sign from heaven that he would become a fierce worrier in future. This untold story reveals the true life history of Genghis Khan, a title that meant universal ruler. History reveals that Genghis Khan was a brutal butcher and a womanizer but from the documentary of his secret history, it is evident that he was a loving, loyal, easy going and kindhearted man who loved his wife deeply and only tradition forced him to take in many wives. Genghis Khan only took action of murder when he and those he loved were attacked and threatened. This paper is a reflection of the main inspiration behind the true life history of Genghis Khan, his great leadership qualities and his everlasting loyalty for those he loved and cared for (Man, 2014).

Overview of the Video

            Being born from a poor family and losing his father at a tender age, Genghis Khan does not disappoint the viewer. The lack of a father figure to guard Genghis Khan does not destroy his destiny of ruling Mongols; he still was able to grow fearless and strong. When the rest of the tribes abandoned Genghis Khan and his family after the death of his father, we see the resilience of their mother. Genghis Khan’s mother goes beyond herself to provide for her family, digs grass day and night just to make sure her children do not die of hunger. The toughness portrayed by this woman is worth the appreciation and emulation by every woman.

The fact that Genghis Khan kills his brother teaches him of the importance of family ties, where he immediately realizes he is on the wrong and learns from his mistakes, he sought to do what is right. Genghis Khan sticks with his family and protects them with his life; he manages to flee from his father’s old enemies who wanted him dead, the secret history of Genghis Khan reveals that his future was pre-ordained; he was able to survive in situations where ordinary men would not have survived.  One enemy clan finally captures Genghis Khan where he is condemned to serves them as a slave, being humiliated and ridiculed he is forced to serve his tormentors for the rest of his life.  Genghis Khan still does not lose hope, he is optimistic that one day he will be able to escape and return to his people. As clever as Genghis Khan was, he realizes whom his friend is and uses this opportunity to escape from his tormentors. The prophesy that Genghis Khan would become a great and fierce warrior was eventually close to being true.

Genghis Khan portrays his loyalist when he keeps his vow to his childhood friend Jamuka. This is evident from the documentary, secret history of Genghis Khan that the two friends vow to stick together and never break their friendship (Man, 2014, 8:00). Later on, Jamuka grows envious of Genghis Khan and allows the jealousy to consume their friendship. Being a great leader, Genghis Khan knows what loyalty means and even after being  betrayed, he does not decide on revenge but rather chooses to forgive his friend Jamuka and offers him another chance to be his friend. The aspect of forgiveness is reflected in the Documentary secret history of Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan is also very wise and quickly realizes that the men, who capture his best friend Jamuka, were not to be trusted as they were his servants. Servants should always remain true to their master and instead of thanking them and inviting them to his side; Genghis Khan orders them to be killed. The reaction of Genghis Khan in the situation mentioned above shows his true nobleness; he manages to gather hundreds and thousands of armies on his side because of his loyalty. His shrewd character is seen when he pleases his friends with gifts to get their support and have them by his side, a greater character that leaders should emulate. Though he faces challenges, Genghis Khan rises above them and presses forward for his true destiny, to deliver the Mongol people from bondage and bring them to victory over all the nations of the world.

             The documentary of the secret life of Genghis Khan has some episodes that are not clearly brought out. For instance, the life of the future Genghis Khan is not fully explained, the viewer does not get the full idea of how he became the leader of the Mongol army. The audiences are forced to assume that after Genghis Khan’s escape from his tormentors, he immediately unites with his family and  the Mongol people immediately make him their leader.

The Video Dimension

Commanding tens of thousands of warriors by Genghis Khan is a dimension that captured my attention. Being illiterate as he was, Genghis Khan had been able to inspire loyalty to people and this earned him millions of followers. Despite him being illiterate, Genghis Khan came up with professional people such as firefighters and horse riders in the army. It is fascinating that the horsemen were able to fight as they rode on their horses and their bow arrows would not miss the target. Fighting on horseback required intelligence that Genghis Khan was able to instill in his men. The fighters would hit their targets at the same time running at a complete gallop. From the documentary, secret history of Genghis khan, it is clear that Genghis Khan was born a winner as the results from the battle are breathtaking, he had great organization of his troops; he organizes them is an incredible way at war. Seeing people join him is something worth the praise, Genghis Khan had great leadership qualities that drew people to him. The episode where he leaves his wife to be taken captive shows how he was a wise man who knew exactly what to do whenever faced with a dangerous situation (Man, 2014, 23:35). Genghis Khan knew the potential of his wife, she would act as a good informer once she was captured and would not dare do anything stupid to cause her death.  Genghis Khan tactfully trains his army and prepares for revenge. It is evident that he had the love of his people at heart, a factor that triggers him to butcher all the men in the enemy tribe (Man, 2014, 29:45).

Knowledge of History of Genghis Khan

The information that Genghis Khan was a kindhearted and loyal man from a very poor background and with a supernatural birth is fascinating and something very new to me; he is very resourceful, he sources from other tribes what the Mongolians could not do in order to develop his people. Genghis Khan is able to buy the skill of writing from the other tribes; he shows true leadership skills by this action. The fact that Genghis Khan was once held captive and served as a slave would never have appeared in my wildest imaginations, had I not seen the documentary of his secret history.  Previously, I only knew Genghis Khan as a heartless, brutal butcher and womanizer as it has been presented in the books of history. History also shows that he would organize armies in all Mongol in tens, hundreds and thousands and would arrange them during battle in an efficient and effective way. The loyalty that Genghis Khan shows is a very important matter in the leadership of today. The aspect of loyalty is very rare to the current people. There has been increase in the levels of conflict globally and this has been associated with lack of loyalty among people. Many death cases have been reported between leaders which has lead to increased terrorism, loyalty has truly lost its meaning in our today’s world and with this documentary, secret history of Genghis khan, leaders can emulate the character of a true leader, Genghis Khan (Man, 2014).

Pros and Cons of Visual Sources

The use of specific visual sources depends on the information that the presenter wants to convey to the audiences. Some of the commonly used visual sources include; PowerPoint, graphs, actual objects, models, videos, maps, tables, photographs among others. The different visual sources have there pros and cons depending on how they deliver the message to the viewer. Some of the pros and cons are discussed below.


A video, if it has clear resolution and an easy language is able to convey the message clearly to the viewer and does not call for further explanation from an external viewer. The use of actual object as a visual source of information gives more understanding to the audience and creates a picture in their mind, which is very difficult to forget. The use of models to serve as a substitute for an object that may not be available to the presenter provides a good example of the actual thing to the viewer. The use of maps and graphs gives the audience clear locations of places and are able to visualize the statistics instead of verbally explaining the location or the values of a population respectively.


For the case of a video, if it is audio, the images may be more interesting than what the speaker is saying and the audience involved would concentrated on the images rather than listening to the speaker, and therefore end up losing the meaning being. Some sources can be devastating to the eyes such as tables and maps, they are not so interesting to see and they can be visual distractions if they are not very clear and large enough to see everything presented there. Other visual sources take away the reality of what is actually being conveyed, for instance the use of models, they cannot show the reality that is there. Other visual sources such as objects may be too large for the speaker to bring them along with him as he makes his presentation because of their portability. Generally, most visual sources are expensive and require many resources to use them.


            Burying great qualities of a true leader and revealing only the negative aspects in the history books is dreadfully unfortunate.  True information of great leaders should always be recorded clearly and straightforwardly so that they receive the credit they deserve and generations after them to take up the good aspects and leave the bad. Genghis Khan was truly a great leader; honest, loyal and humble, something all leaders should emulate.

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