Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
Original title: Die Geschichte vom Weinenden Kamel
Germany, 2003. Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, Bayerischer Rundfunk, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Mongolkino. Screenplay by Byambasuren Davaa, Batbayar Davgadorj, Luigi Falorni. Cinematography by Luigi Falorni, Juliane Gregor. Produced by Tobias Siebert. Music by Marcel Leniz, Marc Riedinger, Choigiw Sangidorj. Production Design by Mendbayar Pol. Costume Design by Unorjargal Amgaabazar. Film Editing by Anja Pohl. Academy Awards 2003. National Board of Review Awards 2004. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2004. Toronto International Film Festival 2003.
Exquisite semi-documentary that will have you getting weepy over, of all things, a camel. A family in an isolated Mongolian village have cause for concern when one of their camels gives birth to a white colt and then immediately abandons it. They do their best to reconcile mother and child but to no avail, the poor infant is left to fend for himself. The sight of this lonely animal wandering the desert plains, crying for affection, is one of the most heartbreaking images ever captured on film. Eventually, the village decides to send for a musician who will perform a mystical Shaman ritual to heal the wound between these two and make them a family. This beautiful film, featuring non-professional actors in somewhat scripted circumstances, has much to say about the value of community support and familial love. Its deceptively simple narrative is compounded by fantastic cinematography and a genuine glow of affection from all the humans involved.