The Cave of the Yellow Dog

2005 G 1h 33m DVD

The Cave of the Yellow Dog

2005 G 1h 33m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Academy Award nominee Byambasuren Davaa (The Story of the Weeping Camel) wrote and directed this docudrama about the disappearing ways of nomadic life in her home country of Mongolia. Young Nansal, the oldest daughter of an actual nomad family, finds a stray dog that quickly becomes her close companion, despite her parents' disapproval. The film depicts the herdspeople's everyday tasks for livelihood and survival, while the city beckons from afar.
Batchuluun Urjindorj, Babbayar Batchuluun, Nansal Batchuluun, Nansalmaa Batchuluun, Buyandulam Daramdadi
Byambasuren Davaa
Widescreen 1.78:1
Mongolian: DTS 5.1 Surround, Mongolian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Mongolian: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
G - All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.
age 7+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 7+
age 7+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this award-winning movie featuring a real-life Mongolian family includes a couple of suspenseful, perilous scenes when a child is lost or left alone. Viewers also see animal carcasses, vultures feeding, a sheep being skinned, and kids playing with dung. Be prepared to confront gender assumptions -- the little boy looks like a girl with his hair in pigtails and it comes as a big surprise when his sex is revealed by a brief non-sexual nude shot. Overall, the movie is a unique peek into an unfamiliar culture that could expand kids' understanding of the world.

Sexual Content

Non-sexual nudity of a child. The youngest child's bare butt is shown. There's a brief frontal nudity shot, which is when the audience may realize he's in fact a boy, not a girl (he wears pigtails).


The realities of rural life are shown: close-up of a dead sheep, skinning sheep, vultures feeding on a carcass in distance. Brief scene of siblings arguing. Talk about vultures and wolves being dangerous. Children get lost/left a few times. The scariest moment is when the family realizes a young boy has been left behind. As the dad races back to get him, the boy wanders near vultures and water.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

This film exposes kids to a lifestyle very different from their own and is a great way to expand their understanding of the world. It also teaches that families have universal struggles and joys regardless of their life circumstances. Themes of tradition vs. modern life emerge.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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