Friday, August 19, 2005

The Story of the Weeping Camel


Dirs: Byambasuren Davaa; Luigi Falorni

Mongolian and Italian collaboration on a docudrama following a steppe family in the Gobi desert and their attempts to save a camel colt rejected by its mother. The film is quite sparse and contemplative, lingering over shots and translating the bare minimum of dialogue.

The story is interesting, and the camel drama is rather riveting. The family must cope with the clashes of new and old culture, and the husbandry provides one metaphor to look at the current status of these people. I was most interested in the creeping in of new culture into these nomadic lives. The kid, for example, wants a television; the family owns one plastic hand broom to help sweep up their tent after a sandstorm. The traces of industrialization make for a unique existence on the plain.

I still would prefer less drama and more docu (see my Winged Migration post), but the window into the lives of these people and the well done nature footage makes the film beautiful to look at and thought provoking as well.

I win the bet. You all (meaning no one, apparently) own me a dollar.