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The songs that help a mother camel accept her baby after a painful childbirth

In Tears of Inge, the Mongolian-born, Montreal-based filmmaker Alisi Telengut explores a nomadic Mongolian ritual in which songs are used to coax a mother camel into bonding with a newborn she has rejected, generally in response to the pain of giving birth. Telengut’s ‘little grandmother’ Qirima, herself once a nomad on Mongolia’s grasslands, explains how they’d play instruments and sing sad songs to the camel until it finally cries and accepts the baby. With each richly textured frame hand-painted by Telengut, the moving impressionistic animation depicts the deep connection between humans and animals on the steppe. Qirima’s haunting singing imparts the film with a timeless, transcendent quality, evoking a remarkable ritual that might soon be lost as Mongolian nomads increasingly migrate to urban areas.

Director: Alisi Telengut

13 July 2018

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