The Story of the Weeping Camel
Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni / MN, DEUZE, 2003 / 93 min.
Saodat Ismailova selected films that inspired her for her exhibition at Eye. This magical documentary drama takes us to the vast Gobi Desert and its nomadic Mongolian herdsmen. They live in symbiosis with their animals and the awe-inspiring landscape.
Especially for her exhibition 18,000 Worlds, Saodat Ismailova selected films that provide an impression of the unfortunately unknown, yet exceptional cinematic history of Central Asia. For many years, filmmakers had to tow the line with Soviet ideology. Within these constraints, they developed their own way of portraying their countries, stories and culture. This created a unique cinematic legacy, the majority of which has never been seen outside the former Soviet Union. This film programme is an ode to the inspiring filmmakers from the region who, despite all the challenges, always continued to make films.
Saodat Ismailova about The Story of the Weeping Camel: “With this film we move to Mongolia, slightly out of Central Asia, although the borders of the region are not so defined. As in Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan, nomadic Mongolian people living on the Great Steppe depend on animals. This film provides gives a beautiful insight into the life of nomads and their deep connection with animals. In Uzbekistan animals also play a spiritual role and this film therefore offers increased perspective on my works The Haunted and Plea, that are on show at 18,000 Worlds.”
About the film
It’s spring in southern Mongolia and one of the camels has had a difficult labour. When she finally manages to give birth, her calf proves to be an extremely rare white one. Despite the herders’ best efforts, the mother rejects the calf, refusing to let it suckle. We gain unique insights into the symbiosis between man and animal that still exists in this region while the herdsmen try to repair the motherly bond.
The patient directors Davaa and Falorni get in close to both man and animal without ever feeling pushy. They won the FIPRESCI Prize at the San Francisco Film Festival and the audience prize at multiple other festivals for this film.
Check out the exhibition page for the other audience programmes accompanying the exhibition and the screenings of Central Asian films. Films specially selected for 18,000 Worlds can also be viewed on the Eye Film Player.
This is part of
Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni
Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel
In 18,000 Worlds, Saodat Ismailova explores the invisible foundations of Central Asia. Moving from personal to collective memory, she connects myths from the region to its recent history and addresses its spiritual heritage for healing. In 2022, the artist and filmmaker received the Eye Art & Film Prize for her oeuvre, in which she devotes attention to the complex, layered culture of her motherland. This is her first major retrospective exhibition.