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Mongolian Ping Pong (2005)

Lü cao di (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 3 August 2006 (Netherlands)
Bilike has never seen a ping-pong ball before. He and his family live without electricity and running water in a solitary tent home among the vast steppe grasslands. The magnificent ... See full summary »


Hao Ning


Hao Ning

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Hurichabilike Hurichabilike ... Bilike
Dawa Dawa ... Dawa
Geliban Geliban ... Ergoutan
Badema Badema ... Bilike's Mother
Yidexinnaribu Yidexinnaribu ... Bilike's Father
Jinlaowu Jinlaowu ... Siriguleng
Wurina Wurina ... Bilike's Elder Sister
Buhebilike Buhebilike ... Dawa's Father
Sarengaowa Sarengaowa ... Dawa's Mother
Dugema Dugema ... Bilike's Grandmother


Bilike has never seen a ping-pong ball before. He and his family live without electricity and running water in a solitary tent home among the vast steppe grasslands. The magnificent landscape here has changed little since the days of Genghis Kahn. But life in the middle of nowhere can be exciting for a young boy. The smallest of details become big events for curious Bilike and his best friends Erguotou and Dawa. The mystery of the small white ball floating in the creek leads to questions about the world around them, as well as innocent mischief. Bilike's grandmother says the ball is a glowing pearl from heaven. But the boys are sceptical after waiting all night outdoors for the ball to light up. Since nobody has an idea about the odd white object, they trek to the faraway monastery to consult the wise lamas. But even the grasslands' most knowledgeable inhabitants are stumped. While watching the new TV-set Dawa's father has won, the boys learn about pingpong. They are excited to hear ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 August 2006 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Mongolian Ping Pong See more »

Filming Locations:

Inner Mongolia, China


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,252, 23 April 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A truck is valuable on the steppe...
15 September 2008 | by sc8031See all my reviews

'Mongolian Ping Pong' is an enjoyable film which tells the story of a young boy called Bilike, who finds a ping-pong ball in the river near his house. He lives on the Mongolian steppe, fairly secluded from industrial society, and his family and friends all have their own amusing opinions of what the ping-pong ball is or is used for.

As other viewers have mentioned, the film feels a lot like "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (and I would draw comparisons to the darker Icelandic film, "Noi the Albino") and contains the trademark flourishes of these documentary-ish steppe films. This means there are tons of drawn-out shots of the landscape, lots of time where nothing is happening or nothing is being said, and a lot of time traveling from location to location. This is interesting here because the elapsed time and expansive terrain lend the events of the story more gravity. Some of the drawn-out scenes are slightly monotonous, but without this lengthy pacing the same events would not be very significant.

Still, the characters and interactions prove to be endearing and this is one of the better "steppe films" I've seen (a haha, I've only seen three or so!). The themes involve the contrast of a nomadic life against a modern industrial one, materialism in the steppes, and the significance of family and hard work. There are some beautiful shots of the plains, mountains and deserts of Mongolia and we are treated to some charming segments with various locals. It is generally what some would call a "heart-warming family film" though the subtitles and slow pace would probably alienate most children.

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