The Eagle Huntress
Director: Otto Bell
Talent: Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley, Rys Nurgaiv
Released: 16th December
Living with her nomadic family in the shockingly beautiful Mongolian mountains, The Eagle Huntress is about 13-year-old Aisholpan, who wants desperately to become an eagle hunter. Eagle hunting has passed from father to son for generations as a necessity for hunting foxes, that are used for food and clothing. The patriarchs of the community of eagle hunters have clear and entrenched ideas on how, and to whom, training should be passed on. There’s disgust when Aisholpan’s father, undeterred by their opinions, supports his daughter and teaches her to catch her own eagle, enter the prestigious eagle festival and prove everybody wrong by hunting in the depths of winter.
Director Otto Bell adds drama, investing the viewer in Aisholpan’s life without being sensationalist. Daisy Ridley (of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) narrates non-invasively, saying little. Subtitles aren’t always used, allowing the universal prattle of human interactions to speak for itself. Criticism of the patriarchal views too comes from Aisholpan herself and avoids an orientalist judgment of the community.
Words – Sarah Taaffe-Maguire