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The Story of the Weeping Camel

4.4 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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(Jan 25, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An exotic and beautiful tale The Story of the Weeping Camel follows the adventures of a family of camel herders in Mongolia's Gobi Desert as they face a crisis when their camel rejects her newborn calf after a difficult birth.Running Time: 87 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. UPC: 794043776823

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin, Amgaabazar Gonson, Zeveljamz Nyam, Ikhbayar Amgaabazar
  • Directors: Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni
  • Writers: Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni, Batbayar Davgadorj
  • Producers: Benigna von Keyserlingk, Claudia Gladziejewski, Evi Stangassinger
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006FFRB6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,979 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Story of the Weeping Camel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 26, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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