Byambasuren Davaa

Germany, Mongolia , 2020 / 96 min / French version / Drama


In Mongolia, 12-year-old Amra is fighting mining companies that want to exploit the steppes.

Eleven-year-old Amra is a child of the Mongolian steppe, where he lives in a traditional nomad community. His father drives him to school in the morning, and in the evening the boy helps to round up the family’s sheep and goats. Amra watches YouTube clips with his friends and dreams of making an appearance on Mongolia’s Got Talent. At home, the grown-ups convene to discuss the group’s future. Global mining companies and their hunger for gold represent an imminent threat to the herders’ way of life. When his father falls victim to a fatal accident, the challenges of a harsh reality force Amra to abandon his childhood fantasies and replace his father as the leader of the resistance against the miners. Summoning all the strength he can muster and pushing beyond his limits, the boy sets out to honour his father’s legacy.

The school screening on 10/03 at 09:00 AM unfortunately had to be cancelled.


Wed 10/03 09:00 Kinepolis Kirchberg FR | FREE Public
Thu 11/03 09:00 FR | FREE Scolaire

“A persuasive performance from Batmunkh in the central role carries the film on its low-key journey, from childhood innocence, through grief and loss of direction, to a celebration of family and tradition. And while the pacing reflects the unhurried rhythm of nomadic life a little too effectively at times, there’s a slow-burning inevitability to the film’s bittersweet conclusion.” Wendy Ide, ScreenDaily, 23/02/2020

“Within her script, Davaa exposes the dimensions of this development and this attempt at destroying social unity. Even the community of the nomads has mostly either given up due to the high amount of pressure from the company, has accepted whatever compensation was offered to them or, in some cases, has decided to collaborate with the miners. The level of exploitation and destruction is reflected in Talal Khoury’s cinematography, the frequent images of the land, its “veins” exposed by heavy machinery and severed. While the audience may marvel at the beauty of the steppe, it becomes quite clear this landscape, this way of life is about to be extinct. Choosing Amra’s perspective to tell the majority of the story is a clever move, adding a child-like innocence to the narrative endangered by the exploitation of the land and its people. […] Although all cast members do a fantastic job, Bat-Ireedui Batmunkh as Amra deserves special credit as he manages the balance between innocence, drama and becoming an adult.” Rouven Linnarz, Asian Movie Pulse, 15/10/2020

Cast & Credits
Bat-Ireedui Batmunkh, Purevdorj Uranchimeg, Algirchamin Baatarsuren, Enerel Tumen, Yalalt Namsrai, Alimtsetseg Bolormaa, Unurjargal Jidgjidsuren, Sarantsetseg Myagmar, Batzorig Sukhbaatar, Ariunbyamba Sukhee
Byambasuren Davaa
Talal Khoury
Paul Oberle, Sebastian Tesch
Batjargal Navaandamba
Jan Miserre, John Gürtler
Basis Berlin Filmproduktion
Mongol TV
Global Screen, Les films du préau

Byambasuren Davaa is a Mongolian filmmaker born in 1971 in Ulan Bator where she studied international law before switching to film directing. In 2000, she moved to Germany to attend the prestigious University of Television and Film in Munich and pursue her studies in documentary filmmaking. In 2003, together with Luigi Falorni, she directed her first feature documentary The Story of the Weeping Camel. The critically acclaimed film became a huge international success and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2004. Her 2009 documentary The Two Horses of Genghis Khan had its world premiere at Locarno Film Festival. Veins of the World (2020) premiered at the 70th Berlinale and is her fourth feature.

  • 2020 – Die Adern der Welt
  • 2009 – The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (documentary )
  • 2005 – Die Höhle des gelben Hundes
  • 2003 – The Story of the Weeping Camel (documentary )
  • 2003 – Mädchengeschichten (1 episode of the TV series)
  • 2001 – Wunsch (short)