> Volume 6 > Number 24


Byambasuren Davaa
Luigi Falorni

Janchiv Ayuzana
Chimed Ohin
Amgaabazar Gonson
Zeveljamz Nyam
Ikhbayar Amgaabazar

Release: 4 Jun. 04

The Story of the Weeping Camel


Channeling Robert Flaherty and his travails with Nanook, directors Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni decided to travel to the Gobi Desert, convince a family of nomads to play themselves for the camera, and wait for the birth of a white camel. These beautiful creatures look so much unlike their mothers that they often die of starvation when the mother camel rejects feeding this unusual baby.

That they achieve all three is rather amazing, and The Story of the Weeping Camel, built largely on these negotiations of man and nature feels like a documentary from beginning to end. Using myths that have stood within tribes for centuries, Davaa, who is the grandchild of a tribesman, and Falroni capture the mystic nature of cultural without the pretense of Westerners. There are images that symbolize the entrance of “civilized” society into these people’s daily lives, but they neither seem like accommodating nor destructive elements, but just a part of the Westernization of all peoples, even those far removed from the West. Beyond the motorcycle that connects them to the outside world, it’s that movie camera filming them that truly removes them from the ancestral background. That their heritage still feels intact is quite a feat

©2004, David Perry,, 11 June 2004