Our Next Show

20 May 2018

AGM, followed, at approx. 8:20, by: -

The Eagle Huntress                     

UK/Mongolia: 2016

Director: Otto Bell                                                87 Minutes

 Cert. U                    

It’s hard to imagine how the lives of Mongolian nomads of the Altai Mountains, who have hunted with golden eagles for thousands of years, could strike a chord with western urban civilisation. But The Eagle Huntress, Otto Bell’s beautiful, cinematically innovative documentary, strikes at the very heart of our primal instincts to strive and succeed.

The film follows 13-year-old Aisholpan as her father trains her to become the first female eagle huntress in Mongolia – a job that has always been passed down from father to son over the centuries. Laid out as a gripping triumph-over-gender-adversity narrative, it moves more like a drama than a dry, strictly objective study of behaviour and cultural colour. The clear, three-part structure accentuates each different stage of her growing skill within a field dominated by dismissive, middle-aged men.

There are awe-inspiring shots of vast landscapes, generating a spiritual almost mystical atmosphere that couldn’t be further away from the reality of our over-populated, polluted modern world. There’s a crispness to the cinematography too, every puff of chimney smoke or shot of eagles gnawing on sheep guts rendered with striking clarity. 

It is director Bell’s focus on family bonds and our relationship with the natural world that makes his film truly affecting though. Close-ups of Aisholpan affectionately caressing her little eaglet mirror images of her father quietly cherishing his daughter’s achievements. It is not difficult to see how much love and pride the family have for one another.

Rebecca Speare-Cole   Little White Lies


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