Has URGA by Nikita Mikhalkov outside Europe? I saw it this evening.
It has been out for awhile, but not in my area. Mikhalkov also did
a film that was called BLACK EYES. That is a direct translation
from the Swedish title. It was starring Marcello Mastroiani, and
based on a Tchekhov novel, I believe.
Urga is a fantastically beautiful film, French/Soviet production,
and won the Gold Lion at the Venice Film Festival. About Mongols
living in China, it explores the long take and gives time to take in the
scenery and people without being pretentious about it. It doesn't
seem to romanticize too much, although the basic message is about
the collision between modern society and indigenous/innocent peoples
living in harmony with nature.
There are some supremely funny moments and very warm relations
between the people in the film. The Mongolian family seemed to
BE a family! The children were wonderful without being "cute" and
conscious of it.