Springtime in the Gobi Desert, South Mongolia. A family of nomadic shepherds assists the births of their camel herd. One of the camels has an excruciatingly difficult delivery but, with help from the family, out comes a rare white colt. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and her motherly love. When any hope for the little one seems to have vanished, the nomads send their two young boys on a journey through the desert, to a a backwater town in search of a musician who is their only hope for saving the colt's life. Written by
Official submission of Mongolia for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »
Now my children I'll tell you the story of the weeping camel. Many years ago, God gave antlers to the camel as a reward for the goodness of its heart. But one day a rogue deer came and asked the camel to lend him his antlers. He wanted to adorn himself with them for a celebration in the west. The camel trusted the deer and gave him his antlers, but the deer never brought them back. Since then the camels keep gazing at the horizon and still await the deer's return.
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This is a great opportunity for getting a first eye view about a civilization and a culture so completely different from ours, that it's worth the price of admission.
Living in the remote Gobi desert, we encounter a small family that live from the sheep they raise and their camels, that are used as a form of transportation. The living conditions are primitive, to put it mildly, yet the family in the film seem content with what they have to live with. Most of the activities are centered around the home.
As the film unfolds, we are witnesses to the amazing birth of the last colt of the season. It is an ordeal for the first time mother having this offspring, a labor that goes on forever, until the men of the village take matters into their hands and help with the birth. The white colt that is born in front of our eyes, has to be guided to the mother for his nourishment, only to be rejected by her. We watch as one of the women manages to milk the mother camel in order to feed the colt. When all fails, as the mother camel keeps rejecting the colt, they resort to a sort of a ritual that involves a violin player coming to the family's help to play music for the animal, and ultimately mother and son are miraculously reunited.
The views of the desert are beautiful in their remoteness and desolation. Somehow we are drawn into this family's life in a way that we never thought we could get to know anyone. The final irony is that after the young children go into the nearest town they finally see their first television broadcast and are fascinated by it.
The film is refreshing as it shows how the different members of this small family care for one another. They are fortunate indeed, because being away from all the consumerism and material things, they manage to stay focused in living under those conditions in that unfriendly environment.
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