The Story Of The Weeping Camel 2004

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Documentary intercut with tender narrative drama set in the Gobi desert in Mongolia. When a camel gives birth to a rare white camel colt, the difficult and protracted delivery leads to problems: the mother rejects her baby and refuses him her milk or bodily warmth. This turn of events spells disaster for the nomadic family to whom the camels belong, and they send their two sons off to the nearest town (some 30 miles away, on camels across the desert) to find a musician who can perform the ancient 'Hoos' ceremony that will reconcile the mother with her son. The film won the 2003 European Film Award for Best Documentary.

Starring:
Janchiv Ayurzana, Amgaabazar Gonson
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 27 minutes
Starring Janchiv Ayurzana, Amgaabazar Gonson, Chimed Ohin
Director Luigi Falorni, Byambasuren Davaa
Genres Drama
Studio UGC FILMS
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages mongolian
Subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Plom de Nume on 15 Feb 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A couple of positive reviews kindled a desire to try this little film out. After it became apparent that it wasn't going to appear too soon in any local rental establishment, I took the plunge and ordered the disk. This turns out to have been one of my very best DVD acquisitions - and if you get a copy, you'll be delighted to own it, too.
My wife was reading when I first put it on: this was actually my strategy to avoid getting blamed if, on telling her to watch it, it turned out as obscure or inaccessible as it might at first sound. She did actually ask what I was going to watch as I loaded it.
"Er, it's a little film about some Mongolian herders in the Gobi Desert and their camels, Dear..." I offered sheepishly (and not inappropriately).
"...right..." she hemmed, returning to her book. The film started.
As the credits rolled some time later, I turned from my riveted position facing the TV. My wife was staring wide-eyed at the screen, a huge smile on her face, moisture in her eyes.
"That was absolutely fantastic!" she exclaimed.
It is. Far more beautiful than any of your over-hyped Crouching Dragons, or whatever - deliriously so, in fact, and all the more exquisite for being so real. Simple and exotic at the same time, The Weeping Camel establishes how utterly alien we all are and, at the same time, how very, very similar.
It begins with astonishing, eyeball-searing landscape and lifestyle shots that look like Luke Skywalker's home planet, with creatures from Hoth imported from the sequel (were they Bantus?). The desert looks and sounds bleak, wild, glowing and glorious. Its inhabitants (and their clothes, their habitat, their food, their songs) are both ordinary and inexpressibly glamorous.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. C. Jeffrey on 18 Mar 2007
Format: DVD
I decided to watch this film as I am going to Mongolia in the summer and read other reviews saying how well it potrays the lives of ordinary Mongols. I must say as I sat down to watch I was filled with trepidation, expecting it to be extremely boring but what unravelled was in fact a beautifully made and suprisingly affecting film.

This is not a film with a fast pace - I actually felt impatient at one point at how slowly the characters were moving - which of course immediately led me back to thinking about the differences and similarities between our lives. There is instead a very simple, base but gripping storyline and if you are interested in remote places where people live very simple lives you will enjoy the many nuances and the beautiful photography.

You become emotionally attached to the baby camel and the family very quickly and it is a real delight to see their relationships build. At the end I felt totally uplifted and even my husband, who started off not remotely interested, was grinning like a cheshire cat.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 25 July 2005
Format: DVD
The camel, we are told at the start of this film, is a trusting animal with a good heart. In the Gobi Desert - a tough, inhospitable, largely barren land - the camel is a vital means of transport, beast of burden, and vehicle of exchange for the nomadic tribes who inhabit the land.
The camel, legend has it, was once given an impressive set of antlers as reward for its loyalty and dedicated service. Unfortunately, it is a trusting animal, and loaned its antlers to a deer ... who never returned them. The camel, to this day, remains forlornly staring at a distant horizon, awaiting the deer's return, a track of tears permanently dripping from the corner of its eye.
This is a simple evocation of desert life - the desert of the twin humped Bacterian camel, not the North African / Middle Eastern variety. We follow a small family, grandparents, adult children, infant grandchild, as they forage and eke out a calm, slow paced life in the Gobi. It is a harsh environment, one which tolerates few mistakes, but the Mongolian people know it and have adapted to its demands.
Their routines are universal - forage for fuel, cook, eat, wash, sleep, keep the young children safe, encourage adventure, play and responsibility in the older ones, cherish the people you love, and treat your livestock with respect. It's a simple life, punctuated by ritual as spoonfuls of milk are cast to the four winds, asking for a blessing on the day and the daily activity.
Filmed without commentary or comment, this drama-documentary centres around the birth of a white camel and its rejection by its mother. The farmers have to try to effect a reconciliation, have to get the mother to suckle her offspring.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cool vibes on 16 Nov 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The inspiring story of a special white camel calf born in a family in a nomad tribe but rejected by his mother after a difficult birth. If the mother won't accept the calf , he will die, so the family go in search of help for him. Will they succeed?

A wonderfully moving story of relationships between people and their animals and the magical healing power of music. Beautifully crafted documentary. A real gem that I'm glad I found and have been recommending ever since.
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