Directed by Luigi Falorni and Byambasuren Davaa, starring Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin, Amgaabazar Gonson, Enkhbulgan Ikhbayar, Guntbaatar Ikhbayar, Zeveljamz Nyam and Ikhbayar Amgaabazar.
The four generations of Ikchee's (Amgaabazar) family, their 50 camels, 300 sheep and four tents in the Gobi Desert. With the camel birthing season just finished, Ikchee and co are faced with a problem: mother camel Ingen Temee has given birth to baby Botok but won't suckle him. The family's last hope is for sons Dude and Guntee (Enkhbulgan and Guntbaatar Ikhbayar) to travel to town to find a musician willing to take part in an ancient ritual - playing music to Ingen Temee until she weeps and accepts Botok as her own.
Inspired by a film co-director Byambasuren Davaa saw in the Mongolian capital as a child, 'The Story of the Weeping Camel' is a massive gamble that paid off. As co-director Luigi Falorni told The Guardian, if the mother had accepted the baby camel from the moment of his birth, there was no movie. But her ambivalence has resulted in a story that mixes documentary with drama and would warm even the Gobi at night.
With the camels receiving top billing in the credits, this is about as unpretentious as filmmaking can be, taking you right into nomadic culture and showing you how the ties of tradition are ultimately the ties that bind. You'll make friends with Ikchee and his extended clan from the off, wishing that you could spend just one night under the cover of their yurts. Gap year contemplators, please take note.