I just saw Cave of the Yellow Dog, which follows a real-life family of nomadic Mongolians living a beautiful, simple life, right now. These folks keep domesticated animals, and use carts with wheels, a motorcycle, a treadle sewing machine, and a wind powered light bulb but live far closer to the land than us city dwellers on the spectrum of civ to tribal. Made by a Mongolian woman who grew up in the city, but had meaningful experiences visiting nomadic family members. After she moved to Europe for film school, she felt overwhelmed and tired by the endless choices about "stuff" and grew to appreciate the old ways of her people and their vanishing way of life.
The sheep herders say they used to all hunt wolves together, but more and more of these folks have given up the nomadic lifestyle and moved to the city. The family we follow sits right on the edge of moving to the city, too. Why? I feel curious about what doesn't work here, why this kind of civilization doesn't "fly". I'll be chewing on that question for a while.
Don't expect drama--this movie walks the line between documentary and fiction. After watching this film, I felt a deep desire to transport my small family to Mongolia and watch clouds with the kids, then snuggle up with them in a yurt and sleep in a big quiet valley.