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Yugo and His Mother

Gu Tao

Release year: 2011

Run time: 48 min

Film type: Documentary


Losing her husband to alcoholism when her son was very young, Liuxia had no way to raise little Yugo, and he was sent to a free government school in the southern city of Wuxi. In his long absence, Liu Xia looks after her reindeer and depends on alcohol to numb the pain of missing him.

During one long winter break, Yugo returns to the place of his birth, the Ewenki settlement deep in the forests of the Greater Xing’an mountains, but he is no longer the child he was when he left. Now a 13-year-old from the city, facing his alcoholic mother, poet uncle, the strange yet familiar forest, and the isolation of his people, there are some things that are foreign to Yugo…


Director biography

Gu Tao was born in 1970 in Inner Mongolia, China, where his father was an ethnographer and photographer. Gu graduated in 1995 from Inner Mongolia Art College with a major in oil painting. After studying photography at the China Academy of Art in Beijing, he started making documentaries, many of which have one awards at international film festivals (Yamagata 2011, Singapore 2012). Gu Tao pursues his ethnographic documentary vocation from a home in the artists’ village of Songzhuang, Beijing.