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The little nomad girl Nansal finds a baby dog in the mongolian veld, who becomes her best friend - against all rejections of her parents. Only as the little dog, Zocher, saves the life of the youngest son, father and mother finally see his good soul. A story about a mongolian family of nomads - their traditional way of life and the rising call of the City. Written by
Will I be reborn as a person in my next life?
Come here, I'll show you something.
[dropping a palm-full of rice grains onto an upward needle]
[handing the needle to the girl]
Tell me when a grain of rice balance on the tip of the needle.
[dropping rice onto the needle for a while]
See, my child? That's how hard it is to be born again as a person. That's why a human life is so valuable.
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Critics seem to have missed an important underlying message of the film: the life of the nomads is incompatible with the modern world and it is inescapable for this particular family, no matter how much they may want to move on. From the moment the returned child builds up the heap of dried dung to resemble flats we know she longs for the town. The parents talk of moving there when their daughter returns to school, but the father cannot earn enough to support them. His herdsmen friends talk of the number of people already gone. There is a lot of symbolism here, of which the melted scoop is only one, as well as spoken hints of a fate that traps people within it. As the older sibling tells the baby, 'You can't play with God.' (or, apparently, alter fate)The basket becomes a prison - literally, when the girl places it over the dog at one point - and the world of the steppes is dangerous, full of wolves, vultures and even storms. For all it's picturesque scenery and domestic charm, this is a redundant life, for which any political change will come too late; only the children will have a chance to leave - the symbolic yellow dog(s) of the wise woman's story, which the parents will need to sacrifice.
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