Byambasuren Davaa • Mongolia-Germany • 2005
Nansal is the eldest daughter of a nomadic family. One the way home from school one day, she happens upon a black and white puppy, naming him Zochor (Spot). Her father immediately refuses to allow the dog to stay, however, fearing that its presence will alert wolves to his flock of sheep. With the family on the brink of packing up their yurt for a new destination, Nansal is faced with the most difficult decision of her young life.
Filmed using a real-life family in the magnificent landscape of the Mongolian highlands, The Cave of the Yellow Dog attunes the spectator to a vanishing way of life. Oscar-nominated documentarian Byambasuren Davaa’s narrative debut premiered at Cannes, where it won the Palm Dog; San Sebastián, where it won a Special Mention; Munich, where it won the Audience Award; and Bratislava, where it won the Grand Prix. The Cave of the Yellow Dog was the second ever Mongolian submission to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was not nominated.