Blurring the lines between fiction and non-fiction, Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni’s The Story of the Weeping Camel documents a nomadic Mongolian sheepherder family’s efforts to compel a female camel to allow her rejected newborn to suckle. Where those lines are located, however, ultimately matter very little, as the directors’ majestic, clear-eyed depiction of the bonds between parents and children – with regards to both the film’s two- and four-legged protagonists – is stirring regardless of whether certain moments have been artificially staged. Mothers wash sons before delivering their camels’ calves, while an introductory fable about why the titular animal stares off into the horizon (answer: because it’s waiting for the deer to come back and return the horns it borrowed) casually speaks to the sheepherders’ position as the final remnants of a fading breed. As epitomized by two boys' trip to a market where they observe (and the little one is entranced by) modern goods like computer games and television cartoons, the disconnect between the contemporary and the archaic resonates throughout The Story of the Weeping Camel. And in scenes such as one of a ritual in which a musical instrument played against the mother camel’s side brings her to tears, the film exudes a subtle spiritual power, just as a climactic juxtaposition of animals and humans joyously sharing milk epitomizes the directors’ tender, compassionate portrait of the primacy of familial bonds.