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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: A Mongolian nomad family find themselves in disagreement when the oldest daughter, Nansal, finds a dog and brings it home. Believing that it is responsible for attacking his sheep, her father refuses to allow her to keep it. When it's time for the family to move on, Nansal must decide whether to defy her father and take her new friend with them. Oscar-nominated director Byambasuren’s follow up to the hugely successful "The Story of the Weeping Camel" is a thought provoking mix of documentary and drama that tells the story of the age-old bond between man and dog, a bond which experiences a new twist through the eternal cycle of reincarnation in Mongolia. (Tartan Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. It's the perfect antidote to overprocessed entertainment, for moviegoers of any age.
  2. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    A remarkable movie: touching, honest, and unassuming, without a hint of irony or false motive.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Davaa's second fable of animals and the people who love them mixes aspects of ethnographic filmmaking with heart-grabbing story lines that wouldn't be too far out of place in a 1950s live-action Disney feature.
  4. 75
    Writer-director Davaa allows the drama to emerge organically out of the characters, the beautifully captured setting, and the conflict between the past and the present.
  5. 70
    At times the film's Buddhist lessons feel a bit forced, but the naturalistic performances Davaa has coaxed from a real-life Mongolian family, and her intimate understanding of their culture and values, give this sensitive portrayal its heft.
  6. The film offers fascinating glimpses of a hardworking but unhurried way of life, though it doesn't have the powerful dramatic hook of "The Story of the Weeping Camel."
  7. Despite the exotic locale and the photogenic moppets, that's not enough for a satisfying movie.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Feb 15, 2014
    One of the rare movie about the people most of us won't know their culture and lifestyle. This is a Germany-Mongolian jointly produced and Mongolian's Oscar submission during the year 2005. The movie about a small Nomad family who live in the grasslands of the Mongolia.

    The story follows when a young girl named Nansal returns home for summer vacation. Soon she finds a strayed puppy in a nearby cave and brings it to the home. But her father is against the idea of keeping it around. So Nansal hides it from him and provides required facilities. As the dog was raised in wild it finds hard to fit in the human surrounded condition. After some incident the dog will be left behind by the family, but his heroic effort makes them to realize his worthiness.

    It was a dog movie, but the dog did not exactly ruled the movie. They showed it just as a small part of the story which comes now and then, more like a reality. Actually, it was told from the girl Nansal's perspective. Her little adventure in the summer. There was a story where an old woman tell to the girl, it was really good, a meaningful proverb.

    The family in the movie was a real nomad family. They were not professional actors, but they gave the best performance. We can't call it a performance, they just executed what they do in their daily life, but this time in front of a camera, that's all. And the director and his crew captured it in the camera very well. They also captured the beauty of grassland of Mongolia.

    Due to this movie I came to know a little about the people called Nomad. It was more like a documentary than a regular cinema. The place where the movie shot was breathtaking. A perfect art movie from all the angles. A good relief movie and gives a watching satisfaction if you are fading up watching plenty of commercial movies.
  2. GrantC.
    Mar 4, 2007
    A beautiful meditation on unhurried nomadic lives. Seeing the day to day existence of the family is more fascinating than the story of the dog, which feels slightly uncomfortably grafted onto the film's straightforward ethnography. I was moved and involved with the whole thing, though, and the film contains many striking and memorable images. A rare film in which you feel your time has been rewarded. Expand
  3. StevenS.
    Dec 29, 2006
    Very simplistic story about a family whose eldest daughter finds a dog her father doesn't want her to keep. I would say well-acted, but I think the family essentially just played themselve ... almost more of a snapshot into what life is like on the Mongolian steppes with a simple story attached to make it "interesting". I'm not sure the story was a necessary addition. Expand
  4. [Anonymous]
    Mar 30, 2007
    Fascinating glimpses of a way of life little known to most of us. Nicely made film, lovely cinematography, but the storyline is too meager even for minimalist tastes. Expand