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The Story of the Weeping Camel [DVD]

Janchiv Ayurzana , Chimed Ohin , Amgaabazar Gonson , Byambasuren Davaa    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: 4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin
  • Directors: Amgaabazar Gonson, Byambasuren Davaa
  • Producers: Choigiw Sangidorj
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jan 2008
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NV77UQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,858 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stupendous! 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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now for something almost completely different 25 July 2005
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scotty 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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The land of steppe and sky" 6 Jun 2005
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another world.
This was a glimpse into a world so different from my own that it was a real eye-opener. It is amazing to think of the people who still live a nomadic life, lovingly tending their... Read more
Published 9 days ago by santoshima
4.0 out of 5 stars A very gentle and heartwarming film
I bought this for my mum as a gift. We have both watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It moves along at a slow pace and of course it is spoken in the native language and... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Tracey Sawford
5.0 out of 5 stars good service
I got precisely what I wanted in superb condition. At the price, I don't know how they make a profit
Published 2 months ago by Andi
4.0 out of 5 stars a good story
A good story and well filmed.. and I can understand some people getting quite emotional about the tale, but whilst I did enjoy watching it, I'm afraid that I am cynical, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Arfaminit
5.0 out of 5 stars Great humor and ethnography
I saw this film in the cinema because I'm interested in Siberian peoples' lives. You really see how people live for real. There is good humour too, despite little dialogue. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Liverpool Lass
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely book
great item and much loved story thanks. it was posted and arrived very quickly. My grandson loves this stoey about a little boys horse.
Published 4 months ago by annie
4.0 out of 5 stars Documentry worth watching
Great watching for all the family, & the camel does weep. It shows the hard life that these camel herders have,& how happy they are inspite of the difficulties.
Published 6 months ago by mr r g cragg
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Stuff
This amazing film takes us to the edges of Mongolia's Gobi desert, where an extended family of four generations pasture sheep, goats, and camels. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nicholas Casley
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Watch it! It is a lovely film, with mesmerising singing; Set in the Gobi desert about a family of nomadic camel herders that require a little shamanic help with a couple of their... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Miss H. Copland
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film ever - IMHO
I have enjoyed this film many times over and never stop telling friends about it.
It is such an amazing story & well filmed.
Published 12 months ago by S. M. Buckfield
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