Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two Cross Cultural Movies

In recent weeks my wife and I have been able to enjoy a few interesting and obscure films. I thought it might be worth posting something in case others would like to check them out.

Starring: Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand
Director: Giddi Dar

is the story of a orthodox husband and wife living in a very religiously conservative neighborhood in modern Jerusalem. The poor and struggling couple find themselves hosts of unexpected guests (escaped convicts) during Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles. "Ushpizin" is the word for guests who stay too long. These guests test the patience and faith of their hosts.

I was struck with the passion and grace and mercy of these people, the wisdom of their rabbi, and the immediacy of their prayer life. I found the acting to be quite good, and the story was both moving and believable.

The Story of the Weeping Camel
Starring: Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin
Director: Luigi Falorni, Byambasuren Davaa

This film is a documentary that gives a glimpse into the lives of Mongolian camel herdsmen near the Gobi Desert of southern Mongolia. One of their camels gives birth to a rare white colt, but immediately rejects it and refuses to nurse it. What can they do to save the colt?

The film shows the life, relationships, rituals, routines, and holistic practices of these remarkable people. It's amazing how other-worldly their world seems, and yet how much of the human experience transcends culture and geography.

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