…After spending a little time in rural Mongolia you will soon realise that the pace of life in this enchanting place is beautifully slow and serene. Offering up this aspect of the human condition to the viewing public is a very hard thing to do in both photography and film because our media has evolved in such a way that we expect to see drama, action and purpose in our films and printed media. Normal, so-called mundane life is often ignored at the expense of the superlative. One film I recall that brilliantly encapsulates the essence of what I’m talking about is the Korean masterpiece Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter And Spring by Ki-Duk Kim which follows the sublime life of an old monk and his young apprentice as they live through the seasons on a temple floating in the middle of an isolated lake.
Intimate films about quiet lives rarely reach out to large audiences and it is an ever-present dilemma for the documentary maker to compromise this element of story telling for the sake of the wider following. Both ways have equal merit in my opinion, but the unremarkable (to some), more personal approach is often represented considerably less within the world’s media.
With this in mind, today I decided to train my camera on a very simple and unexceptional situation at the home of our adoptive Mongolian family and film a candid conversation for 5 minutes to see if it would offer up a different insight into the life that is lived here ‘in between the rushes’ so to speak.
I have called this clip ‘The Thick Brown Thread’ because the conversation revolves around things pertaining to sewing in a very ordinary but extremely funny way.
To give you a little background on the situation, we were staying with this lovely nomadic family of camel and cashmere goat herders at their remote winter farm (pictured above) in order to document the birth of a new camel. As you will see, the pregnant camel we were waiting on was long overdue and nobody knew why. The ensuing discussion prompts an intriguing story of an unfortunate incident with a goat and a comb…
Here’s the clip.
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Interested in more stories from Mongolia? Try HERE