A wonderful documentary centered on a nomadic family in the Gobi Desert, and their herds of animals, mostly sheep, and the big woolly two-humped camels from the region. If other cultures interest you, then you will enjoy this film which shows life in the round felt and canvas "gur", a large tent-like structure that houses the entire family, with cooking facilities in the center, brightly colored painted wood and rugs, and generous hospitality to visitors. The young couple are a handsome pair, and the wife, Odgoo, has a lovely singing voice.
It's a vivid picture of the harsh, arid landscape, with the snow capped Altay Mountains in the horizon, all beautifully photographed by filmmakers Byanbasurem Davaa and Luigi Falorni, earning them a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the 2005 Academy Awards.
The camels are fabulous, and the "star" of the film is an adorable white calf, abandoned by his mother after a very long and hard birth. A musician from a distant town is brought in to play for them, in a ritual that will make the mother care for her offspring, and it is a fantastic thing to witness. The last 30 minutes of this film are quite magical, and all of it is extremely educational.
Some may find the pacing slow, but that is because it is being seen from the complex fast track the viewer is on, compared to the steady flow of nomadic existence, and perhaps they are expecting a "movie", and not a documentary, as that is not clearly specified in the packaging, other than National Geographic being named as part of production. The slowness of the film is actually part of the experience, where the people are without distractions, and are a part of the nature around them, reading the sky for storms, and understanding their animals in a profound way.
Total running time is 87 minutes.