Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel, Die [2003]

This breathtaking blend of documentary and fiction filmmaking provides an unobtrusive glimpse into the relationships, rituals, and livelihood of a four-generation family of nomadic shepherds in the Gobi desert of South Mongolia. It is birthing season for the family's herd of camels and after several healthy foals are born, the last birth is difficult. With quiet perseverance, the family helps to deliver a rare white colt, which the mother camel quickly rejects and refuses to nurse. With growing concern for the colt's survival, the family decides to employ a nomadic singing ritual to coax the mother into nurturing her young. They send the two eldest sons on a journey to the nearest village to fetch a musician for the "hoos ritual." The story unfolds gently, sensitive to the rhythms of desert life while honoring its real-life actors. This modest yet magnificent film is the graduation project of film students Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni, extending beyond the tale of a camel and colt to explore the fragility and beauty of an ancient way of life. Rated PG for some mild thematic content. (Ages 8 and older) --Lynn Gibson

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