Lisa Schwarzbaum
June 02, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Story of the Weeping Camel

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
90 minutes
director
Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni
distributor
THINKFilm
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

This much of The Story of the Weeping Camel is true: When a camel rejects her colt following a difficult birth, traditional Mongolian nomads really do turn to a musical ritual that frequently causes the mother camel to ”weep” in the course of bonding with her offspring — the source of the tears a mystery, of course, to humans who don’t speak Bactrian. The National Geographic imprimatur on this lilting documentary-style narrative by filmmakers Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni affirms the film’s thoughtful attention to national geography and the barren grandeur of the Gobi Desert. But the vivid fictional specifics, and the simple loveliness of the artless performances by nonactor Mongolian nomads, attest to the filmmakers’ abundant artistry.

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