Byambasuren Davaa's follow-up to 'The Story of the Weeping Camel' is another lovely low-key docudrama based, once again, on the lives of the herdspeople of Mongolia. 'The Cave of the Yellow Dog' focuses on the nomadic Buyandulam family - mother, father, two daughters and baby son - that live on the Mongolian plains.
Although there's a modicum of a plot involving their eldest daughter, six-year-old horse-riding goat-herding Nansal, bringing a stray dog home from the mountains, the focus is much more on the family's seasonal routine. Children play together, cheese is made and preserved, dung is gathered for firing, the yurt is dismantled and moved - these are the raw materials that Davaa uses to fashion a quietly captivating story.
Beautifully shot by a German crew (Davaa, though Mongolian-born, is German-trained and financed), this film glories in the vast open spaces and hardworking traditions of this community. 'The Cave of the Yellow Dog' is an elegiac tribute to a simple, although difficult, way of life that is fast disappearing. A more than rewarding cinematic experience.