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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 April 2008
Breath-taking cinema. This film's desolate landscape mirrors the harsh nomadic life of a Mongolian herder family successfully etching out a living 2000m above sea level. A richly crafted storyline beautifully juxtaposes a warm and fragile past with a poignantly cold westernised future. It achieves a perfect directorial feast of visual and auditory delights. How they managed to pull this off in such an unrelenting climate and in such a remote place is mind boggling which only serves to intensify this film's charm and sense of mystery.

Any pointless concerns about the apparent impossibilty of filming such events are tenderly dissolved by the camels own incredible tears. You simply couldn't make this up and that's the point. It's real and camels don't follow scripts. Ultimately this magical cinematic gem leaves you spellbound for all the right reasons. It's raw emotional content leads you to it's undeniably spiritual conclusions.

Watch it and let your soul feed on this profoundly lyrical tale of love.
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on 22 March 2007
Told in the style of a documentary this understated film tells the story of a group of Mongolian herders and their attempts at getting one of their camels to bond with it's newly born colt. Superbly photographed and naturally acted by its cast, 'The Story of The Weeping Camel' slowly unfolds, revealing how three generations of people go about their simple daily lives tending their sheep and camels whilst living on the edge of modernity. The people fascinate and enchant as we observe them living their uncomplicated lives in their canvas houses in the desert. Yes, for some the story may seem unhurried and measured, but it is because of this that we are given the opportunity to watch, take in and consider what we are viewing; not something we are allowed to do when viewing most mainstream films. And what of the title? Well you have to wait till almost the end of the film for the answer to that question.
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on 25 April 2011
an amazing documentary produced by a film student as one learns at the beginning of the movie...the plot is unsophisticated, and at first sight it has nothing spectacular to make it into a movie... yet the simplicity of how people go about their business in complete communion with nature is lovely and magnificently filmed...this movie reminds me of those little special things that count.
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on 4 May 2014
Bought the DVD to have a copy of a film that I had seen in the theater. Half of that film has been edited out.
The theatrical release starts with a mad horse chase that opens the story of one of the couples not being allowed to have another child so the wife keeps insisting that there will be no sex until the husband goes to the city to by condoms. All of that story is gone.
There is an encounter with a Russian truck driver who "crashes" in the lives of the two families is also all gone. It was a great observation of the meeting of two very different cultures.
The story of the rejected camel is all there but that was only one part of much more involving film.
Truly a sad loss.
If anyone finds the complete film on DVD please let me know.
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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. One female camel fails to bond with her new child, thus giving cause for a ritual to take place that results in the camel weeping and then suckling its calf.

Drama or documentary? Well, a bit of both, but mostly the latter. Working with real herders in their real homes and with their real animals, the film does not hide its attempts to create a drama: it is clear that some of the stilted dialogue between family members has been rehearsed, and when the great-grandfather tells the children the story of how the camel was given one attribute each from all the twelve animals of the zodiac, one child complains that they already know that story and asks could great-grandfather not tell another instead.

The film is also of interest for showing how the modern world is intruding into the traditional nomadic lifestyles of the herders: thus we see four-by-fours, electricity, TV, motorbikes, even western-style school uniforms appearing on the fringes of the Gobi desert. There's a clock on the wall of one of the yurts, and Aerial washing-powder available in the shop of the nearest town.

But the greatest interest - and mystery - surrounds the Hoos ritual itself, powerfully making manifest the animalistic power of music. Assuming it to be genuine, how does the laying of the instrument over the camel's hump - resulting in a resonance caused by either the wind or the animal's own breathing - allied with the subsequent playing of the instrument accompanied by singing affect the camel-mother so deeply as to completely transform her attitude to her calf?

Powerful stuff, but alas there are no extras on this DVD to provide any answers. All that we are given is a photo gallery and fifteen minutes of unnarrated and unstructured behind-the scenes footage.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 5 December 2011
I loved this film. In 'The Story of the weeping Camel' you will spend some time with a family of nomadic shepherds in Mongolia. This in itself makes for fascinating viewing, a world so far removed from that of modern civilisation. As a viewer you immediately warm to the family as they go about their daily lives. By the close of the film you are totally won over by them. Add to this the comings and goings between a mother camel (who has just given birth for the first time) and her white calf that she refuses to accept, and you have an enthralling one-and-a-half hours of entertainment. Statements of praise are often written on the front covers of films and more often than not they fail to live up to them. Not so 'The Story of the Weeping Camel'. On it's cover it says "Magical and touching . . . a genuine miracle", "Absolutely priceless", "Sublime . . astonishing" - it is all of this and more. Full credit must be given to the makers of this film for allowing it to flow at it's own gentle pace. It could have easily been contaminated by wanting 'more' and making things happen which would have removed the natural ambiance of the film. This is a wonderful antidote to the noisy, violent, gun-toting, explosive pics that we are saturated with in this day and age. Here we have something that is genuine, moving, gentle, deeply human, heartwarming and truly wonderful.. . . and the stars of the show are of course the camels and you can't help but feel love for these wonderful creatures.
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on 22 August 2008
The title of this documentary from Mongolia is not a metaphor - there is an actual weeping camel in the movie. Directed by a Mongolian woman and an Italian man who met as students at a German film school and set in the Mongolian steppe, the plot is slight and the directing style is somewhat artless, yet the story is charming and interesting. After a difficult delivery, a mother camel refuses to nurse her young. The camel owners (nomadic Mongolian shepherds, living in a ger in the steppe) send their two children to the city in order to get a violinist to convince the camel, through music, to feed her baby. And the movie allows us to see a particular civilization that is increasingly encroached by the modern world (one of the movie's most poignant scenes had the children demanding their father for a television).
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on 5 September 2012
This beautiful film testifies to the innocent and hard-working life of happy people and to the power of traditional therapy, in this case music.
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on 20 December 2010
This beautifully filmed documentary centres on the lives and work of camel herders in the Gobi Desert of Southern Mongolia. This is interwoven with the story of one of their camels who, after takink a traumatic two days to give birth to her colt, then rejects him, and follows how the family struggles to remedy the situation.

The production team avoid turning the film into an intrusive patronising film, and show how the two young sons can travel miles to seek out a relative who might be able to help the camel and in doing so are introduced to tv and computer games that become "must haves" for them. Somehow the family seem to totally disregard having the camera around.

The film was recommended to us and I pass on my recommendation
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on 26 November 2006
a pure and simple story and a pure and simple life. looking at this movie makes you question what we have lost in our modern western civilization. I loved this film and i often wonder why i can't live like these people. Life is far too complicated with things we don't need. a truly heart-rendering film, wonderful.
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