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

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Germany, Mongolia · 2003
Rated PG · 1h 31m
Director Jiska Rickels
Starring Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin, Amgaabazar Gonson, Zeveljamz Nyam
Genre Documentary, Drama

After two days of labor, a family of shepherds helps deliver a camel's first calf⁠—a rare white camel. However, the mother rejects her calf, refusing it milk, so the family turns to various indigenous traditions to help bring mother and calf together.

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Variety by Derek Elley

The film spins a beguiling web of detail that builds to a surprisingly throat-clutching finish.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

The leisurely narrative is barely able to sustain the film's full-length running time, and some of the obviously staged sequences involving the family of shepherds are annoyingly hokey. Nonetheless, "Weeping Camel" has an undeniable appeal.


Village Voice by Leslie Camhi

Beyond its rare visions of remote vistas, Camel's great charm lies in its seeming simplicity. The camera records the events of the day -- from a little girl's tears to an afternoon sandstorm -- with a childlike clarity and curiosity.


New York Post by Lou Lumenick

A rare film offering from Mongolia, is an unusual, captivating and crowd-pleasing semi-documentary about an extended family of camel herders -- and two of their flock.


TV Guide Magazine by Maitland McDonagh

Davaa and Falorni's film does suggest that camels have inner lives as rich and complicated as the human beings with whom they live in such intimate proximity. But they're also wholly camels, matted, goopy-eyed, gritty with sand and quick to knee an adorable calf in the snout when its demands become annoying.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

The family's few lines of dialogue are so integral to advancing the story that they may well have been scripted, but it's not that important whether The Story Of The Weeping Camel is more fiction than objective ethnography. If anything, the contrast between what's real and what may have been faked only adds to the tension between the natural world and encroaching modernism.

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