Thursday, December 1, 2016

This 'n That Thursdays: The Eagle Huntress (2016)

From Rama's Screen

I normally don't think to watch documentaries, but after reading about "The Eagle Huntress" (2016) I am going to have to see this one!  Every review I've found raves about the breathtaking cinematography, as well as the empowering story of an intrepid young Mongolian girl who trains to become the first female eagle hunter in her Kazakh family and community.  Growing up in a harsh and remote location as part of a nomadic tribe, 13-year-old Aisholpan is determined to be a traditional eagle hunter, despite difficulties encountered due to the forbidding environment and years of cultural tradition.   Her father, a champion eagle hunter himself, supports her decision and guides her through the process, starting with the capture of an eagle nestling.  The movie follows Aisholpan's progress as she bonds with and trains her young bird, culminating in an incredibly difficult-to-film but impressive scene of their first hunt.

Those of us who live in first-world luxury may find the stark reality of this way of life unsettling, but Aisholpan and her people have learned over the centuries to live in harmony with their environment, taking what they need to survive and no more.  They are also dealing with the influx of 21st-century progress, which makes their ability to keep their traditions alive even more remarkable.  Since I have not yet seen the film, I can only repeat what others have written about the film here, but their comments are enough to make me eager to see this documentary for myself.  You can watch the trailer on YouTube below, and google "The Eagle Huntress" for more information.  I hope this film comes to our town soon!


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