Aoluguya, Aoluguya – Gu Tao


Evenki reindeer herders, a legendary ethnic minority coming from further northern Siberia three hundred years ago, moved into a government-built settlement in 2003 and was banned from hunting. Would the once familiar forest still belong to them?


Synopsis of Aoluguya, Aoluguya

In the Greater Khingan Range of northern China, there is a rather legendary ethnic minority, the Evenki reindeer herders. Three hundred years ago, they came from further northern Siberia. They have been hunting and raising reindeer for generations and have their own traditional way of life.

In 2003, they moved out of the mountains into a government settlement. The ban on hunting followed, and the Evenki, who had lost their forests and shotguns, felt lonely. Some returned to the mountains and resumed their traditional life. Liuxia who lost husband uses alcohol to forget pain. It is because nothing in the world belongs to her anymore except for the sun in the sky, the reindeer, and her distant son. Her younger brother Weijia is a lost artist and alcoholic. He Xie uses the harmonica to express his sadness. The Chief Maria-Suo watches the changing times indifferently.

Time flies quietly, and the deer bell sound recedes. Would the once familiar forest still belong to them?

Aoluguya, Aoluguya is the first documentary of Gu Tao’s Evenki trilogy. The other two are Yuguo and His Mother and The Last Moose of Aoluguya.

Read our blog post to see reviews about issues reflected by this film from local audience.


1 hour 20 minutes | English & Simplified Chinese subtitles | SD (720×576)
China | 2007
Director: Gu Tao

Awards & Film Festivals

1. Winner of Gold Award in Nature Documentary, 2010 Shanghai International Film Festival
2. Winner of Jury Prize, 2010 Ânûû-rû Âboro International Documentary Film Festival
3. Winner of Best International Sales Potential Award, 2006 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
4. Winner of Top 10, 2008 China Independent Film Festival
5. Official Selection, 2007 China Independent Film Week
6. Official Selection, 2008 Annual Reel China Documentaries Biennial Series
7. Official Selection, 2009 Tokyo China Independent Film Week

Highlight Endorsement

“This film goes beyond the ordinary anthropology documentary. It is full of aestheticized political ridicule, and presents an oriental ambiguous breadth and depth.”
Wei Xiao Bo, Douban reviewer

“I like this film. It is rough, but into your heart. Its leading roles are a few drunkards, but they are the soberest poets of the age. It is violent and soft, gentle and masculine, whimpering loud and clear.”
Xia Rui, Douban reviewer

“Aoluguya Aoluguya is in fact a wonderful portrait of a life that once was and people who could have been – but are now completely different.”
Sedef Hekimgil, Critics Associated

More Endorsement

Reasons for Recommendation

1. This documentary has the rating of 8.5 on Douban.
2. It presents the Evenki reindeer herders objectively and is of great value to the study on the ecological migration of Aoluguya.
3. Gu’s shooting came from a kind of family friendship, which is a huge difference between that from TV station staff.

More Info

1. Critics Associated: Chinese Visual Festival – Aoluguya, Aoluguya – Review
2. China Ethnic Groups: Aoluguya… Aoluguya: the last Ewenkis in China wilderness
3. Related blog posts

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