Deep within rural Mongolia, a person with Down syndrome is rarely seen, but if recognized, is ostracised or stigmatized by society. A boy called Jam (Fate) with trisomy grows up with the help of his loving mother, who chose to live at a distance from people in order to raise her son peacefully. She gave up her younger daughter for adoption to give her a better life and then left town with her son. The years go by, the mother passes away, and Jam finds himself in psychological, emotional, and physical distress. During this difficult time, he meets a Buddhist monk who helps him perform the burial ritual in accordance with the Mongolian nomadic tradition. Jam returns to a normal independent life with the knowledge of his mother’s teachings. Human life is nothing but dwelling in the intertwined trinity of the past, present and future or in the realm of the TRIO under the father heaven and mother earth.
Without a husband, a single mother tries to raise her son Jam, who has Down’s syndrome, by sending his sister for adoption and takes him to school. But in Mongolia, where ignorance and prejudice prevail, parents take out their children from school, fearing that Down’s syndrome is contagious. Eventually, Jam’s mother takes her son to a more remote area for her own peace of mind and passes away. With no one but nature and his mother, Jam doesn’t even know the meaning of his mother’s death. But he meets a Buddhist monk who gives him a traditional Mongolian funeral and falls into grief. When his mother dies, he is reunited with his older sister who was given up for adoption, and should now learn to live on his own. Surprisingly, director DORJ Battumur also plays the role of Jam, while realistically portraying a person with Down’s syndrome. The traditional Mongolian funeral scene is also impressive, but most of all, the beauty of nature in Mongolia is stunning accompanied by the music of Mongolian contemporary music composer Zundui Khangal. (CHUN Jinsu)
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