Bring your preteen daughters to this uplifting, feminist tale about Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl who outmasters the town elders as she commands her tamed eagle to swoop in competition and capture foxes in the snowy backcountry. Both otherworldly and accessible, The Eagle Huntress takes us to remote northwestern Mongolia, to the ancient tradition of eagle hunting, where the Kazakh people tame wild eagles to hunt for food and fur. Over centuries, eagle hunting developed into an art form, with dramatic competitions proving eagle speed, obeisance and hunting prowess.
The film contains almost no plot, but this does not diminish the experience. Its style combines exceptionally vivid wildlife photography with observational ethnography, while emotionally functioning as a childhood fantasy. The beauty of this fantasy is its grounding in reality, a heartfelt sharing of an ancient culture and a celebration of family ties and the passing on of tradition. The unique subject, the gorgeous dance between human and bird, and the warm performances by native actors captivate and refresh the mind.
Actors Aisholpan Nurgaiv and Rhys Nurgaiv give warm and inspired performances.
Playing at an independent movie theater near you. Watch the trailer here.