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Story of the Weeping Camel, The (Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel, Die)

Story of the Weeping Camel, The
Scene from "The Story of the Weeping Camel"

South Mongolia, Gobi Desert, Spring 2002: a family of nomadic shepherds assists the births in their camels' herd. A white colt is born. Its mother, disturbed by the long and painful delivery, rejects it. The little one fights for milk and love, but its cold-hearted mother seems determined to let it die. The nomads make use of their last resource: only with the help of a musician from a distant village might the little camel be saved ...

In an ancestral ritual, the shepherds sing and play violin for the two camels, until their music soothes the angry mother and she falls into a state of trance. Large tears of regret fall from her eyes, as she finally accepts her little one and suckles it.

"This project gave me the opportunity to reconsider a naive approach to filmmaking. The nomadic family we met was completely devoid of any type of cynicism. It seemed to us, an innocent view would lead to the appropriate form for telling the story of this film. We looked at each shot as a window, therefore keeping it simple and quiet, to maintain a linear, peaceful storyline. This doesn’t imply strict documentary observation, however. Some action important to the structure of the story, which did not occur while the camera was running, was re-shot with the family’s cooperation." Luigi Falorni


Byambasuren Davaa was born in 1971 in Ulaanbaatar/Mongolia. From 1989 to 1994 she worked as a speaker and assistant director for Mongolia\'s Public TV. From 1995 to 1998 she attended the Film Academy in Ulaanbaatar, followed by studies at Munich’s University of Television & Film (HFF/M) in the documentary department. Her films include: One World, Two Economies (1993), Das orange Pferd (1999), Wunsch (2001), Unterwegs, Portrait of a Girl (2003), The Story of the Weeping Camel (Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel, 2003) which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Documentary Feature, The Cave of the Yellow Dog (Die Hoehle des gelben Hundes, 2005), and The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (Die zwei Pferde des Dschingis Khan, 2009).

Luigi Falorni was born in 1971 in Florence/Italy. From 1991-1992, he attended the Film Directing class of the Cooperative Schermobianco in Florence, graduating with the feature La Gabbia di Gesso (1992). He then studied at the University of Television & Film (HFF/M) in Munich from 1994 until 2003, graduating with the highly-acclaimed film The Story of the Weeping Camel (Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel, 2003, in co-direction with Byambasuren Davaa). Also active as a screenwriter and cinematographer, his other films as a director include: Impasse (documentary short, 1995), Fools and Heroes (documentary, 1998), Dichtung und Wahrheit (short, 1999), and Heart of Fire (Feuerherz, 2008).
Genre Culture
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2003
Directors Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni
Cinematography Luigi Falorni
Boerte
Producer Tobias N. Siebert
Production Company Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF/M), in co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk
Length 90 min
Format Super 16
Original Version
 Mongolian
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Munich 2003, Toronto 2003 (Real to Reel), Vancouver 2003, Montreal 2003, Tromso 2003, Rotterdam 2004, Thessaloniki 2004, Hong Kong 2004, New Directors - New Films/New York 2004, Sydney 2004, Buenos Aires 2004, San Francisco 2004, Karlovy Vary 2004, Motovun 2004, Ghent 2004, Osaka 2005
Awards Bavarian Film Award for Best Documentary & Best Newcomer Directors, FIPRESCI Award San Francisco 2004, Audience Award Motovun 2004
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor Prokino Filmverleih/Munich

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