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This coming of age tale centres on the traditional nomad life of the Mongolian steppe, living in harmony with nature. Amra’s father is the sole voice willing to stand for his nomadic people against global mining companies. While these companies have only been permitted to do exploratory work, workers have already begun to dig the temperate grasslands of the steppe without community consent. The land and rivers provide important nourishment for the goats, sheep, and people of the community, who also depend on this sensitive ecosystem for their livelihood, primarily herding and cheese making. Watching YouTube clips with his friends, Amra longs to see the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and dreams of singing on the popular TV show, Mongolia’s Got Talent. When Amra’s father dies in a tragic car accident, Amra is forced to abandon his childhood reverie and assume financial responsibility for his family. Suddenly he must grow up fast and do work he might not have undertaken otherwise.
Veins of the World is Oscar nominated director Byambasuren Davaa’s debut as a dramatic feature filmmaker. Davaa is best known for her gripping documentary work, The Story of the Weeping Camel, which has been translated into many languages, and has won accolades at festivals around the world.
Themes: perseverance, community consent, coming of age, tragedy, traditional song, modernization, traditional ways of living, child labour, greed, land rights
Advisory: The death of a parent is sudden, and a child is put in danger on a mine work site.
Feature film recommended for age: 13+