The Story Of The Weeping Camel review

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A small miracle of patience and editing, this "narrative documentary" about a nomadic Mongolian family and their problematic flock is not the insomnia-cure you might expect.

After an excruciating two-day labour, a camel rejects her first-born colt, which pines for milk and attention as her mother becomes ever more aggressive. The traditional remedy involves a mystical ritual with a violin but, with no instruments at hand, the family's two young sons set out on a quest across the Gobi Desert for music. Interestingly, they experience the modern marvels of television and ice cream en route...

A mixture of captured events and scenes recreated with the four-generation cast of non-actors, Weeping Camel carves out its own genre: magic-realist docu-soap. The Gobi is magnificent, the family look like an animated Benetton billboard and the camels' soulful eyes bore straight to your heart.

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