LIVE FROM UB
Directed by Lauren Knapp
In 1991, Mongolia became a new nation after its break from the Soviet Union. For the first time in almost a century, Mongolians were able to freely express themselves. In Ulaanbaatar (UB), Mongolia, this freedom was expressed through rock music. Hence, rock music became the catalyst for freedom, the vehicle for international curiosity. Today, it is the medium for Mongolian nationalism. Now, over twenty years later, the first generation to grow up in this new society is making their own music. LIVE FROM UB follows one of Mongolia’s most promising independent bands, Mohanik, as they discover a new sound that accentuates rock with a Mongolian voice in search for their true identity in today’s globalized world.
In this entertaining, yet educational debut feature documentary, Lauren Knapp takes us through the transition of Mongolia as a new nation learning how to take its first few steps. By following the lives of four coming-of-age men, who make up the band Mohanik, providing glimpses of Mongolia today, and interviewing various “rock legends” of Mongolia, we come to realize what defines Mongolian culture today: it’s who they are, how they used to live, and how they’ve come to live as they do today. It is this concoction that creates the distinct sound of Mongolian rock and creates the voice of the new Mongolia today.
LIVE FROM UB is the result of ten months of immersion in Mongolia’s small but vibrant music scene, learning Mongolian, attending concerts, and filming a plethora of interviews with Mongolia’s top performers.
Post Screening Panelists:
Lauren Knapp, Director, LIVE FROM UB
Lauren Knapp is a multimedia storyteller, with an interest in documentary. She has been working in film, television, and radio since 2006 and her work has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, PRI’s The World, WQED, and The Allegheny Front. In 2011, she moved to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia with the support of a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship where she researched and produced ‘Live From UB’ (2015), a feature length documentary on rock music and national identity among Mongolia’s urban youth. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University.