The Eagle Huntress

Date: 09/05/2017 Times: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

A ‘Wild About Wivenhoe’ event.

This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family.  The film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.

Set against the breath-taking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, The Eagle Huntress features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl’s quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film.  While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined.  The story begins after Aisholpan has been training with her father’s eagle for many months.  As every eagle can only have one master, Aisholpan has to capture an eagle of her own.  After months of training her eagle with her father, Aisholpan is ready to test her abilities. She enters a renowned competition, the Golden Eagle Festival, and faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia.  The most arduous challenge is yet to come, as the rite-of-passage for every young eagle hunter is to take part in a hunt.  Aisholpan must ride with her father deep into the frigid mountains and endure 40 below zero temperatures and perilous landscapes to prove she is a true eagle huntress.

The Eagle Huntress is executive produced and narrated by Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley.  Like Ridley’s character, Rey, Aisholpan never doubts her ability to be as strong or brave as any boy. She recognizes no obstacles and refuses to have her ambition denied.  While she practices an ancient art, Aisholpan’s story is a modern and inspiring one because she represents a world where a young girl’s dreams, no matter how challenging, can come true.  It is director Otto Bell’s first film and was nominated for a Best Documentary BAFTA.

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The Eagle Huntress

Year: 2016

Country: UK

Cert: U

Duration: 87 mins

Dir: Otto Bell

Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old girl, trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.

Venue: William Loveless Hall