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This is a contemporary tale about a Mongolian dog who didn’t want to become a man.

'State of Dogs' is an astonishing mix of personal journey and social commentary.

Beautiful and haunting, the film is structured by the reminiscences of Basaar, a stray dog killed by a hunter in Ulan Bator. Mongolians believe that dogs are reincarnated as human beings, but Basaar is reluctant to accept this fate. Basaar’s story is intertwined with Mongolian myth and contemporary verse, taking on the texture of a poetic fable.


Release: 1998 (Denmark)

Duration: 91 minutes

Genre: Documentary feature

Spoken language: Mongolian, English and French


Directors: Peter Brosens and Dorjkhandyn Turmunkh

Cinematography: Heikki Färm and Byamba Sakhya

Editor: Octavio Iturbe
Sound Design: Franco Piscopo and Dan Van Bever

Composer: Charo Calvo

Producers: Anne Baumann, Peter Brosens and Anne Even

Production Countries: Belgium, Mongolia, Netherlands, Denmark and Finland

Production Company: Inti Films

Coproducers: Arte, Balthazar Film, Centre de l'Audiovisuel à Bruxelles,
Crea Video, DR, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone,
Magic Hour Films, Tobch Toli, ZDF and YLE.

Produced with support from: The Danish Film Institute, The European MEDIA-Programme, 16:9 Action Plan of the EU and Eurimages.


The film was nominated for Adolf Grimme Awards' 2000 Documentary/Cultural Award and also the Best Documentary Award at the 1998 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.


The fIlm won Cine ‘Eco-Seia international Film & Video Festival 1998 'Campanula de Oro' and 'Grande Prémio de Ambiente' Awards, Gavà International Environmental Film Festival 1999 Best Feature Film Award, Maremma International Documentary Film Festival of Firenze 1998 Grand Prix Award, Mediawave's 1999 Best Script Jury Award, Molodist International Film Festival 1999 Best Documentary Film and Don Quixote Award, 1998 Barcelona European Lianas for Best Documentary Award at New European Talent of the European Film & TV Market, Nyon Visions du Réel 1998 Grand Prix Award, Semaine du Documentaire de Création Européen de Strasbourg 1998 Mention Spéciale du Jury, St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival 1998 Special Jury Prize and finally São Paulo International Film Festival 1998 Critics Award.

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