Mongolia, the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, is today the fastest growing economy in the world. As mining fuelled growth reshapes Mongolia at an astonishing rate, the values placed upon natural resources are rapidly shifting. Since the days of Genghis Khan, nomadic herders, who still comprise approximately 30% of the country's population, have shared a harmonious relationship with their surroundings. Today, this ancient bond is being torn apart as Mongolians adapt to an ever more resource dependent and modern lifestyle.
Mongolia's land and water are being affected as people scour for precious resources across the country in the hope of a better life.The steppe is quickly becoming a battleground for its natural wealth as tensions between herders and mines continue to rise.
With the picturesque steppe as a backdrop, Of Land and Water takes a raw look at the issues confronting Mongolia’s fading way of life. Four distinct stories come together to contemplate modern and environmental changes in a land with centuries of tradition. Nomadic herders, illegal miners, monks, shamans, Neo-Nazis, the country's new elite, artists and urban citizens steer the film's exploration of Mongolia's changing relationship with nature. Of Land and Water considers the environmental and social consequences of losing intrinsic cultural knowledge that has traditionally guided ecological practices in Mongolia and beyond.