Die Höhle des gelben Hundes (2005)
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Yeah,it may not have the strong storyline, however it's the simplicity that makes this film great and touching. By the way, the music in the film is excellent! This film reminds me some of Iranian films regarding children and animals I've watched. They may not live a wealthy life but they do cherish what they have.
It may seem the film is at its own leisurely pace, absolutely no hurriedness. Everything so naturally happens. There is dramatic moments of suspense, brief as it may: will there be danger? When I heard Mama's heeded words to Nansal about her little brother, I can see she's quite distraught and distracted by Zochor being left behind. What an ominous-looking flock of vultures.
It's fascinating to watch the ritual of moving, which is a Batchuluun family activity where everyone chips in. Filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa ("The Story of the Weeping Camel" 2003) artistically shows us the integral process of dismantling the portable tent (yurt) they live in, spoke by spoke. Looking at the tent site from above, focus of the square slot insertions in the top ring for each rod - it takes concerted effort, indeed. The girls rolling up the rugs, packing off the little furnishings they have (even active little brother has a hand). Mama also has to round up the herd of sheep. Papa yoking up the cows to five carts full. Writer-director-co-producer Davaa knows how to convey the nuance and cultural sensibility of the Mongolian nomads. Little things and family togetherness sure mean a lot.
The editing language (how the story was told) optimizes close-up's, nature/landscape scenes vs. dialog. The implied plot progression with words heard off screen, followed with facial expressions on screen, especially Nansal's emotions, be it joyous or sad, come through lucid. For example the ending treatment - you'll like the way it's presented. It's not obvious - what we saw moments ago and what we get to see eventually suggests what may have happened in between - the outcome of things yet so fluidly natural. An effective cinematic storytelling. Heartwarmingly' we'd smile at how cleverly the expectation fulfills. Filmmaker Davaa is gentle and creative, full of patience and humanity. She has a charming way of delivering an endearing human story putting us at ease to accept the flow of things.
This may not have the high drama of Hollywood's "The Yearling" 1946, the fun and solid companionship in "My Dog Skip" 1999, the collie star in "Lassie, Come Home" 1943, or the child acting genius in the Swedish "My Life as A Dog" 1985 - but the premise of a little girl and her beloved stray dog somehow has an intrinsic mix of family values and parent-child lovingness irresistible.
The film is of German production, hence the title aka " Höhle Des Gelben Hundes, Die."
11/26/06 'Previous life. Next life. Present life.' Hints of philosophical drifts in Davaa's second 'docu-narrative' - Still thinking about "Cave of the Yellow Dog." At one point in the film: "What were you in your previous life?" little Nansa asked her mother. Remembering the beginning scene: we see from afar Nansa and her father burying their family dog. She is inquisitive, and papa said to her that 'no one really dies, just become something else in the next life.'
We're fortunate to be able to follow along with Mongolian filmmaker Davaa and her film crew (from Germany), capturing the family spirits of this five-member unit. They are not actors but truly the Batchuluun family. Cinematography is remarkably beautiful delivering the Mongolian grassy plains and vast sky. (Reminds me of "Close to Eden" 1991, a Russian film also with Mongolian landscapes and nomadic life.) And the music is wonderful, at times have strains liken to Philip Glass (as in filmmaker Godfrey Reggio's cinematic montage pieces). There's a peacefulness to it all - seeing nature and humanity so integrally co-exist.
If you'd like to spend some 'quiet' non-stressful time at the movies, try "Cave of the Yellow Dog." Check out the official site 'caveoftheyellowdog.co.uk'. From 'Director's Notes' we can gain insights to how Davaa came to create her film and the thoughts behind the stories she wanted to tell, including the tale about the fable of the Yellow Dog.
The cinematography and music are both quietly beautiful, creating a nice atmosphere. There is much warmth in the depiction of family life. The film skilfully avoids sentimentality. Like the just-released Offside, the characters are all non-professionals, adding authenticity.
For what it's worth, my five year old son loved it and gave it 10/10 stars.
This film is so beautiful - the rolling steppe, the vast and broody skies, storms, lost children, marauding wolves - lots of excitement - car chases and people screwing and exploding bombs with bits of bodies flying about are not the only excitement available to us thank God.
It is exciting to see a mode of life so totally different to our own and portrayed so honestly and without any moral squint at all. I was enthralled from start to finish. The scene where they take down the yurt and pack up their belongings to move to new grazing - wonderful music by the way - was perfect. And although the film suggested (never preached) that this way of life might not endure for too long I, for one, felt that in spite of the hardships and unrelenting battle with nature involved in their lives, going to work in McDonalds could never be seen as a tempting alternative.
Go and see it.
The Cave of the Yellow Dog centers around Nansaa, A little girl in a family of five nomadic Mongolians. Her father is a sheep-herder, while mom helps with the care taking and feeding of her her family. One day Nasaa comes across a small dog hiding in a cave, which she quickly names Zachor (means Spot) and takes home (altough her father is most displeased about it) From then on the film centers mostly on the three children in the household, and Nasaa's relationship with the dog. This film is pure simplicity, in terms of plot, and is mostly about people living in a basic, if not normal, world. Far from the everyday rat-race of most people's lives.
Those of you who are fans of gorgeous, lush cinematography, won't be able to find fault with this film. The landscapes portrayed in Cave are of the Mongolian Highlands and are amongst't the most beautiful ever captured on film. I was constantly blown away by each successive shot. I really can't go on enough about how awesome the cinematography and landscapes are in this film. It really has to be seen to be believed.
The acting is especially well done, especially when you factor in the extremely Young age of the three children in the film (god knows how long it took for the director to capture many of the scenes). Mom and Dad (as the film never really lets you know their names) also did great jobs in portraying the lives of nomadic peoples.
The score is almost as beautiful as the landscapes featured in the film. The music features traditional sounding oriental flute and violin music, which sounds very melancholy and heart-wrenching.
My only reservation is that, I think a lot of people will find this movie boring, as it has a very slow pacing. And now there is no action or explosions in it. The film actually looks very low budget, as if it was shot on a digital camera. But why it may lack a huge budget, this movie has a big heart, as well as a very relevant political message.
So if a good family story is your kind of thing, or your interested in seeing achingly beautifully filmed shots of the Mongolian Highlands, or if you just want to bring home a movie your significant other won't complain about, absolutely see this film.
My rating 9 out of 10 (Worth Owning).
"Weeping Camel" featured an intense drama, chock full of suspense, when a postpartum camel rejects its albino newborn, thereby threatening its life. "Yellow Dog" offers no comparable crisis or suspense. It is in fact more than anything a sweet children's story. The older daughter, Nansal, who's around 9, finds a stray pup to dote on as a pet. But her father, Urjindorj, wants the dog Zocher - lost pronto, fearing that it was raised by wolves that might show up and slaughter the family's goats. Will Nansal get to keep her beloved pooch? There is a brief yet dangerous turning point in this story, one that modifies Urjindorj's attitude.
The story, which, like "Camel," also provides allusions to the supernatural beliefs of these people, takes place over a summer, and, as autumn draws close, we have the opportunity to witness the step by step dismantling of the family's commodious yurt and its furnishings, as they prepare to migrate to more propitious winter grazing land. It's a far cry from car camping. (In Mongolian & German) My grades: 7/10 (high B). (Seen on 12/09/06)
I laughed through out the movie, because I understood Mongolian. Half of the audience were Mongolian in the theater when I watched the movie and they all laughed and enjoyed the movie. It reminded me of my first theater movie experience in the US. I did not understand anything and I found the movie so boring, when other people were laughing their ass' off. But still it's a must watch movie and I hope that you would enjoy.
The children are extraordinary in their candid roles. The natural family dynamics work so much better than most theatrics. It took tremendous courage to follow real people in their daily lives in order to create a story; proving that plot and special effects often get in the way of artistic subtleties.
This is a film treasure because it captures the heart in an effort to open a window to a fading way of sustainable life.
There is within this film a searing soulfulness: these are not children being exploited for making movies; these are simply children being filmed as they are. It is wonderful. The animals, as they are, the family as they are, the land, as it is. Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! And that is to say nothing of all the beautiful things that are made by loving hands and not machines: their clothes, their furniture, their yurt itself.
The family play themselves, the word play itself being operative here, as there is no work, no toil or coarse superfluous labour as we have come to know it in the west, but simply endeavor, and the play of song and dance. Everything done here is essential, and of the essence. The music, too, is quite sublime and will draw you out of your manufactured identity into a wider more spacious self that you perhaps never knew was there.
Words cannot do it justice. It is a film, like the great steppe itself, which cannot be explicated, but can only be lived, or at the next best, watched with an open heart. It made me think of how people have lost their way as human beings living with the earth and not against it, and how, in the west, the hand-made has also become a commodity, like time and space, like being and experience itself. The photography and the land is exquisite; the patience of the people involved evident, but then patience is no big deal when you are one with the land. In Atyrau, sadly, there is no one-ness, little harmony left, as the new younger and more seduced civilization enters the sauna of need, greed, and fear, all the while sucking the life right out of them.
Civilization is a slaughterhouse, but here on the great steppe, in the cave of the yellow dog, civilization is nothing; and it is this nothingness if attended to sensitively and intelligently enough that will bend your soul back into shape.
The movie is a documentary-style movie with full of details of typical lifestyle of nomadic people. The old Mongolian folk songs were sung by the mother as lullaby for her son. The folk story that were told about "The cave of the yellow dog" by the grandma to Nansal. The nomadic living style of Mongolian people as the move to better place for their livestock. The traditional belief of nomadic Mongolian as they keep a little Buddha statue in their tent and worship it as well as their ancestors. People can also find in the movie the economic hardship of traditional Mongolian people who have to choose between sticking with the traditional nomadic living style or moving to city.
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.
Whether or not you've seen Weeping Camel, this story stands proudly as a parable of life's possibilities and limitations, and how we must all come to terms with them – wherever we live. Yes, the plot is fictional but the family – and their environment – is real. Nansal's natural performance is particularly impressive at such a young age – her resourcefulness and charm bestow an irresistible screen presence. And, for their part, the parents contribute a nicely judged supporting role, revealing just what it takes to bring up a family in the wilderness. And the dog? Oh, yes, he's cute. You can see why Nansal wants to keep him.
A delightful, fascinating and thoughtful docu-drama that will stay with you long after those dramatic mountain scenes have faded from view. CS
Remember Yertle the Turtle? Gertrude Mc Fuzz? The Sneeches? These are fables, their moral payloads gently, because humorously, delivered. Such a story is the Cave of the Yellow Dog, in which it isn't good to cherish the artificial above the real, or to elevate caution above love, or to worship the modern over the tried and true, or to be overbearing or ill-tempered when you can be patient and polite. It is suggested that we look deeply at whatever comes along in life, believing in the benefits that the unrolling before us of the red carpet of fate may bring. We are asked not to look at life short-sightedly, thinking only of profit and loss in the immediate situation, but to take a more long term, big picture view of the meanings of events in life. The sub-themes used to carry these concepts are, beyond the apparent domestic issues, those of death and of reincarnation, weighty themes indeed. And yet they are plumbed so delicately and gently that we practically never even notice that we are being given important ancient lessons in life that have global application in this time of human-caused environmental crisis.
I don't believe in fate, but even though the film could on one level be seen to promulgate the notion of destiny, you don't have to subscribe to that or any of the other ideas, to be moved by the love and reverence for the reality of the ordinary in the lives of the family of characters.
I've said my comment contains spoilers, because it would surely spoil the film for me if, not yet having seen it, i were to read this. If you haven't seen Cave of The Yellow Dog, please forget and ignore all you have read, and just allow the film to wander cherishingly through the green plains of a beautiful land.