Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Story of the Weeping Camel|
Actors: Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin, Amgaabazar Gonson, Zeveljamz Nyam, Ikhbayar Amgaabazar
Directors: Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family
the story of the weeping camel follows the adventures of a family of camel herders in mongolias gobi desert as they face a crisis when their camel rejects her newborn calf after a difficult birth. Studio: New Line Home Vi... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Patricia C. from JACKSONVILLE, NC
Reviewed on 3/27/2009...
I love this movie,i enjoy seeing how other cultures live life. if you like documentary/reality/educational type movies you will like this one.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great true story set in Mongolia. I loved every minute of it
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 11/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two German filmmakers went to Mongolia's Gobi desert to make a documentary. Here, they got to know one particular family and witnessed a real story that was unfolding in front of their eyes. They filmed it all. And this film is the result.
The family is real. The little girl cries for her mother but quiets when her grandmother gives her a sweet. The two boys act like children everywhere, wide eyed with wonder and wanting to help out their family. The parents are loving. The grandparents are wise. They raise camels and sheep for a living and have been doing so for hundreds of years. There is plenty of food and they seem to have all the things they need even though they live without electricity and just a battery-operated radio to connect them to the outside world. Of course the modern world is influencing them. The little girl wears a sweatshirt with silk-screening on it. The little boy keeps asking for a television set.
The central story, however, is about a camel. Yes, a camel. It's the birthing season and we watch a camel giving birth and then bonding with her young. That's the way it's supposed to be. Another mama camel, however, has a difficult birth. The little one is coming feet first and the mama camel is in a lot of distress. The family watches this all and tries to help, but basically, the mama camel does it all on her own. Then, instead of the instant bonding that we've already seen among other camels, this mama camel rejects her little one. The family tries everything to try to make her feed her baby, but she just pushes the little camel away. Days go by and even though the family tries to feed the baby camel, they know that the little one will die if he doesn't get his mother's milk in quantity.
The two young boys, who are probably about 7 and 13 are sent on a journey to bring back a musician who will play sacred music. The family believes that this might make the mother camel receptive to the baby camel. It's quite a long trip and looked dangerous even though I knew that there was a film crew along filming the whole thing. The settlement is Russian and there is a school and some stores and a market. Most of all though, there is television. The boys are fascinated.
Soon they return. And the musician comes too. And of course there is a happy ending.
Along the way, though, I felt I was picked up and gently placed down in a culture on the other side of the world. I absorbed the details of their lives. Stressed with them over their problem with the camel. And really cared for them all, including the camel.
I highly recommend this film for everyone. It's a truly engrossing and heartwarming story as well as being a valuable lesson in geography and cultural anthropology. Don't miss it!"
The Harsh Reality of the Gobi Desert with Poignant Solution
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A visual impression of the environment in the southern Mongolian Gobi desert would be a sandy foreground with tall mountains in the far horizon topped with an endless blue sky. Storms appear with short notice and without consideration of the people inhabiting the desert. Populations in this remote location, where modern technology and monetary system do not apply, must find alternative means for continued existence. Sheep farming and camel breeding are the main means of trade as the earth is too exhausted to farm. The comfort of continual running water or electricity available from the flip of a switch is something of a fantasy. Despite these hardships, the people of the Gobi desert remain in this harsh environment living by their ancient traditions, which the elderly pass down to younger generations.
The Italian, Luigi Falorni, and Mongolian, Byambasuren Davaa, filmmaker with German film background ventured to the unsympathetic land of the Gobi desert where they intended to capture the truth of the people living in this sandy place. The two filmmakers began their shooting in the spring, after the severe winter, as they decided on capturing the life of a family consisting of four different generations living together in a couple of tent-like structures. Daily chores around their home are being immortalized by the camera, which depicts a life style with very little external stimuli. All members of the family tend to the sheep and camels, as children are taught from an early age to help with the chores. Several situations display the family members' awareness of nature's phenomenon, as they have to handle camel births and prepare for stormy weather.
Unintentionally, Falorni and Davaa stumble upon a spectacular story, which they were fortunate to transmit to the world through their documentary. The story within the documentary begins at the end of a camel birthing season when one of the camels, Ingen Temee, rejects its white offspring, Botok, after a two day long labor. Images of other camels embracing their young colts pass on the affectionate nature of the camels, which increases the emotional pain depicted as Ingen Temee rejects Botok. The little white colt is in constant hunger as the mother refuses to let him feed, which will cause much sadness among the viewers. However, to the people of Gobi desert the camel has more than affectionate value. The value of the camel is illustrated the use of the camel, as the camel provides transportation, milk, rope, and even toys for children. In essence, the camel is a means of survival. In order to prevent the young colt from dying the family decides to send Dude, a young teen, and his much younger brother, Ugna, on a 50 kilometer journey on camel to return with a violinist in order to hold a old traditional ceremony.
The journey for the violinist turns out to be an eye-boggling adventure for Ugna, as he discovers the wonders of television. Ugna cannot take his eyes off this square piece of technology that he discovered at some close neighbors home, a days camel ride away. When the two brothers continue to their destination Ugna asks Dude what a television would cost. Dude responds, "about 50 sheep, but then you would also need electricity." This displays the authenticity of the story and the value system by which they live.
Eventually the two boys return from their long journey, which leads the viewers to one of the most amazing events in history where the power of music will carry over to another species. This leaves the viewer wondering over the scientific approach to the world. However, it also brings a warm and poignant feeling that remains within the audience long after the film is over.
The Story of the Weeping Camel is in some aspects a dreary cinematic experience, but it has to be slow and monotonous compared to western living. As mentioned before, very little external stimuli is provided to the people in the film. The only means of communication with the outside world is a battery-operated radio, which does not work through most of the film, as they do not have batteries. In the stillness and the seemingly endless desert the audience will experience a truly genuine culture. This culture sheds some light on our high-technological society, as it probably will make most of the viewers feel a little embarrassed about our daily complaints when the cable does not work, or if electricity is accidentally shut off."
Profound, deeply moving, paradigmatic
Dr Tathata | Omphalos, USA | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can see how this film might be difficult for modern westerners--technologically and culturally sophisticated, conditioned and adapted to the complexity and fast pace of an urban existance.
But there was a time--before the migrations to Europe and to North America, that our ancestors lived very much like the people of the film, nomadic herders in the plains of central Asia. The spiritual crisis of modern people emerges out of our loss of awareness or memory of "archaic realites". We can no longer hear the echoes of the voices of the ancient ones. We tend to be vastly removed from the natural world, sheltered in our high rise condominiums, often times the only example of nature in our environment is a lap dog. It has not always been like this.
The animals that these Mongolians herd, they used to hunt, thousands upon thousands of years ago. It was easier to domesticate them. The way of life of these herding people has proceeded, over the millennia, with very little change, although, the people in the film have aquired a cast iron stove, and the youngest of their clan seem transfixed by the lure of modern technology such as television and computer games. When the little child, Ugma, asks for a television, his grandfather warns him, "You don't want to sit around and watch glass images all day. That wouldn't be good."
Instead, they care for their animals and for each other, in a manner seemingly unchanged since the dawn of time itself. When a new camel mother rejects her first born, following a difficult birth, it becomes a problem that only humans seem to understand. Only humans seem to be capable of providing an intervention. The other camels seem oblivious to the cries of the lonely, starving, abandoned, colt. But the humans know what to do. They have seen this before. They send for a tribal violinist. There was a time when one did not need to travel far to find one. But times have changed. Now one needs to take a day to ride a camel to the nearest cultural center, and ask the music teacher to come and help. But when he does, the humans gather around the new mother. then hang the violin from her hump. The wind gently invokes haunting soft echoes from its soundboard. Then the violin is removed and the musician begins to play. The human mother gently strokes the camels fur and sings softly to her. And the mother camel begins to weep. The little colt is brought forward, and begins to nurse. His mother accepts him. There is hope. There has been healing.
This is a little bit of the ancient wisdom lost to modern people. These were among the things our ancestors once understood. That the place of humans in the pantheon of life is to be the agents of nature--good stewards, correcting things, fixing natures little mistakes, getting things back into a natural harmony. Who else has the intelligence to do this job?
There is a primordial, raw, spiritual power to this story that is deeply, and profoundly touching. It is told in a minimalist fashion, and that ramps up the subtlety of feeling necessary to appreciate the moment of restoration, once it comes. You could say, in traditional terms, that the Mongolian shamans have manifested a "metanoia", a life transforming change of heart, for this camel. The power and beauty and purity of the moment seems to affect them all. Life is good. We are one heart.
Psychologically speaking, we are all capable of armoring ourselves against the challenges of this cruel world to the point where we are no longer capable of feeling empathy, sympathy, mercy or compassion for ourselves or others. If only our doctors and priests had the simple, and singular knowledge possessed by these Mongolian herdsman. If only someone could play the violin for us, and stroke us, and sing to us, and melt the ice in which we find ourselves encased. How much violence would be left in the world after moments of renewal like that?"