Documentary Review: The Last Moose of Aoluguya (2013) by Gu Tao

As Gu Tao’s third half in his sequence in regards to the Ewenki individuals, “The Final Moose of Aoluguya,” opens, we see Weijia, a member of the household whose life the director has documented for over a decade, leaning on an outdated, considerably soiled, mattress. We don’t know the place he’s, possibly within the settlement, given to the ethnic group by the Folks’s Republic of China, possibly elsewhere. One factor is definite, although, he’s not within the place he feels most snug at – his household’s dwelling within the mountains. Fidgeting with a small bottle of alcohol, he casually tells us that he has been to jail as soon as for firing a gun, most likely quickly after the Chinese language authorities banned his individuals from looking in 2003. As he speaks, we hear Liuxia saying one thing in drunken stupor. Neither the director, Gu Tao, nor her brother, Weijia, pay any consideration to her, even the digital camera doesn’t shift to point out her, making us notice that that is going to be a portrait of the alcoholic with inventive sensibility Weijia.

The Last Moose of Aoluguya is streaming on CathayPlay

Equally to Gu’s second film in regards to the Ewenki, “Yuguo and His Mom,” “The Final Moose of Aoluguya” accommodates scenes and interactions proven (or not less than, hinted at) in “Aoluguya, Aoluguya.” Nonetheless, within the context of Weijia’s story, they tackle a very totally different which means. Take for instance the ultimate scene of “Aoluguya, Aoluguya” through which Weijia, along with a couple of of his associates, go to worship their ancestors’ graves and within the meantime, create each a ruckus and a multitude. Whereas within the first film this appears like an equally humorous and embarrassing mess achieved whereas extremely drunk, right here it’s framed just like the battle of a person to guard his tradition and identification. The rationale for that’s the truth that Weijia is an extremely advanced and delicate one that suffers deeply from the modifications within the methods his individuals stay.

The opening scene of the film hints at one other distinction between “The Final Moose of Aoluguya” and the 2 earlier motion pictures in regards to the Ewenki. As a substitute of the government-built settlement and the few left dwellings within the mountain, a big portion of the documentary takes place in Sanya, a tropical metropolis in Hainan province. He isn’t there as a result of he desires to, although, however as a result of his mom posted a singles advert from his title and the girl who answered it’s from there.

From the second he arrives there, round an hour into the documentary, he feels deeply uncomfortable. That’s regular, contemplating that the inventive and delicate Ewenki loves the mountains and the outdated methods of his individuals greater than something. In actual fact, he spends the vast majority of the primary hour, shot within the span of a few three years, bemoaning the demise of his tradition and the destruction of the forests and its ecosystem by the Han Chinese language.

As his life along with his girlfriend goes on, and as her methods of attempting to cease him consuming turn into extra excessive (she goes so far as to confess him in a psychological establishment), we notice an increasing number of not solely that he’s not blissful there, however extra importantly, that he doesn’t belong to her world. He desires to be free, dwelling the way in which his ancestors did previously, however he isn’t allowed to, nor does the vast majority of his fellow Ewenki appear to need to. So, even when he returns house at he finish of the movie, there’s nothing and nobody ready for him there. Although the tent he used to stay at remains to be there, his mom and sister should not. Identical to the title suggests, he’s the final one in Aoluguya.



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