Amra’s father Erdene is the leader of the last nomads opposing global mining companies digging for gold in the Mongolian steppe. After his father dies in a tragic car accident, Amra sets out to continue the fight in his father's spirit – but with the tools of an 11-year-old boy.
In a province in the middle of the Mongolian steppe, 11-year old Amra lives a traditional nomad life with his mother Zaya, father Erdene and little sister Altaa. While Zaya takes care of the flock, Erdene works as a mechanic and sells Zaya's homemade cheese at the local market. Their peaceful routine is threatened by the encroachment of international mining companies, digging for gold and devastating the natural habitat. Erdene is the leader of the last nomads opposing them, and tries to unite and convince his comrades not to accept the compensations the companies have offered. But after Amra's father dies in a tragic car accident, his mother wants to give up the nomad life and trade the steppe for the city. But Amra refuses and tries to carry on his father's David vs. Goliath fight with his cleverness and the tools of an 11-year-old boy.
Director Byambasuren Davaa ("The Cave of the Yellow Dog", "The Two Horses of Genghis Khan") celebrates her fiction feature film debut with drama VEINS OF THE WORLD, which she also scripted. She was already nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary 2005 for "The Story of the Weeping Camel", sold to over 60 territories. This is her first collaboration with BASIS BERLIN FILMPRODUKTION, who were also proud to be nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar 2019 for their film "Of Fathers and Sons".
– Press Clippings –
“Byambasuren Davaa’s gorgeous-looking drama examines the rituals and traditions of Mongolia as their very existence comes under threat. […] Veins of the World is intimate and sweeping all at once, and has at its core a sincerity that invites genuine empathy.”
“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-Irredui Batmunkh as Amra deserves special credit as he manages the balance between innocence, drama and becoming an adult.”
Asian Movie Pulse
"Veins of the World once again demonstrates the potential of arthouse film that, despite the apparent cultural and geographic gap to mainstream cinema, knows how to demonstrate the strength of a narrative, the need to express a human condition, immediately and without pretense. Byambasuren Davaa helms a film with a strong emotional impact, which reflects a careful knowledge of child psychology."
“This movie is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, it also comes with a powerful message against the mindless exploitation of land and destruction of natural environments. It’s like an encapsulated, Mongolian Avatar. Time flew by and I was completely invested in the story.”
„Davaa can rely on her exquisite imagery. She has long had the appropriate cinematic means, which she already perfected in "The Story of the Weeping Camel". In addition, she is at hand for the picture design by Talal Khoury, whose pictures of the life of the nomads reinforce the realistic impression. Panoramic pans and long-distance shots that bring the peculiar beauty of the Mongolian steppe to life are part of the film‘s repertoire.“
This was captivating, wonderfully written and well performed film. There’s a moving conflict that builds throughout the film and grows to an amazing ending. Breathtaking landscapes and cinematography. It moves beyond stereotypical documentation and instead delivers an overall beautiful film.
Jury statement, Reel 2 Real International Festival for Youth, Canada 2021
OFFICIAL ENTRY TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS - MONGOLIA Best International Feature Film
In Competition for APSA 2020 Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2020 (USA): Milos Stehlik Global Impact Award & Professional Jury 2nd Prize "Live-Action Feature Film"
Istanbul Crime & Punishment FF 2020 (Turkey): Student Jury Award
Ciné Junior Val-de-Marne 2021 (France): ADAV Award
Festival du Film et Forum international sur les Droits Humains | FIFDH 2021(SWITZERLAND): The Fiction Grand Award
Freeze Frame International Film Festival for Kids of all Ages; Winnipeg 2021 (CANADA): Audience Award