Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This is a 90-minute, cut down version of the original, 1981 Khan Asparukh which ran for 4 1/2 hours in three separate parts, the first two are fictional and make up the story of how Asparukh was given the western regions of his father's Central Asian empire, and then spent 20 years moving west, experiencing all sorts of personal hardships and eventually killing a power-hungry priest who had been manipulating him. Since this 90-minute version cannot possibly cover these two parts in their entirety, the personalities of the main protagonists are not very developed at all, making the action scenes less engaging than in the original. The third and last part of the film is historical, and focuses on the Khan's alliance with the friendly Slavs who come to his aid in successfully fighting off the Byzantine King Constantine IV, leading to Asparukh's founding of the Bulgarian state in 681 A.D. The importance of this final battle is also undermined by editing, so that it seems more like an extravaganza instead of an heroic victory over the Byzantine forces who outnumbered the Slavs and Bulgars by about 10 to 1.
alliance, battle [war], manipulation, murder, priest, victory