Rimas Tuminas' adaptation of two novels by Grigory Kanovich, is a dreamy, ruminative, comedic road trip, centering around the parlous fortunes of Eastern European Jews at the start of the 20th century. A period piece that carries a modern conscious, Smile Upon Us, is a Becket-like "Waiting for Jehovah" featuring three towering figures from the Russian stage, Viktor Sukhorukov, Aleksei Guskov and Vladimir Simonov.
This mesmerizing adventure of magic, love and loyalty begins with the auspicious birth of a tiny white camel under a sky with a lucky camel-shaped cloud. The blessed but financially strapped family who owns this "Celestial Camel" must sell him in order to raise money for their newborn baby. When the baby camel is sold, its mother seizes the first opportunity to run away to find her baby. The family's twelve-year-old son, Bayir sets out on a mission...