- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Story of the Weeping Camel, opening tomorrow, is being distributed in association with the National Geographic Society and seems perfect for such a partnership. But it may also generate unexpected commercial interest, given an extraordinary scenic, human and animal appeal. Shot during a calving season in the southern Gobi desert with a family of nine herders, ranging from a set of great-grandparents to a toddler, the movie depicts a crisis of animal husbandry and psychology: the need to reconcile a Bactrian camel with the newborn calf she repeatedly rejects. The scenes are largely authentic but use an endearing element of tribal legend and myth by linking the solution to a “therapy” in which a musician is hired to serenade the troubled beasts. Camels, one discovers, tear up so expressively that it might be wise for actors to resist crying scenes while the memory of this lovely movie remains fresh.

— Gary Arnold

Well-known photographer Sally Mann courageously and powerfully confronts death in What Remains, her five-part photographic series on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The loss of Eva, her pet greyhound, at first inspired the series “Matter Lent,” which includes photographs of the skin and bones of the dead animal. Later prodded by the trauma of an armed fugitive committing suicide on her Virginia farm, Miss Mann continued to confront mortality by remembering him in photographs titled “December 8, 2000.” She also tackled the raw subject matter of the Battle of Antietam, in which 23,000 men were reported missing, killed or wounded on a single day in September 1862. At the Corcoran, New York Avenue and 17th Street, NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Tuesdays, until 9 p.m. Thursdays. $6.75 adults, $4.75 senior citizens, $3 for students with current ID and $12 for families; free for members and children under 12. Admission is “pay what you wish” Mondays and after 5 p.m. Thursdays. 202/639-1700.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

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