THE EAGLE HUNTRESS

"A 13-Year-Old Eagle Huntress in Mongolia"

Quality:
Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.

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What You Need To Know:

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is a coming-of-age documentary that tells the story of 13-year-old Aisholpan’s desire to be the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations of her family. Eagle hunting is a sacred tradition in Mongolia, handed down from father to son for centuries. Aisholpan expresses her desire to be the first female eagle hunter and compete in the Golden Eagle Festival, but can she do it? With the encouragement of her family, Aisholpan embarks on a journey to capture, raise and teach a captured young eagle how to hunt.

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is director Otto Bell’s first feature documentary. After seeing a National Geographic photograph of the 13-year-old eagle huntress, he felt called to tell her story. Depleting his personal funds, he flew to Mongolia to shoot the cinematic story of this young girl’s dreams. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is an inspiring documentary, with breathtaking visuals. Its feminist worldview breaks down traditional ideas about men and women and has some morally positive elements, some bloody and dangerous hunting scenes, and some references to the false Muslim faith of the heroine’s family.

Content:

(Ro, FeFe, BB, FRFR, VV, M) Light Romantic, strong feminist worldview rebukes traditional attitudes of a male-oriented society and says males and females can always do whatever the other does, and heroine says, “If a boy can do something, girls can do it as well, with some strong moral elements promoting, family, love, compassion, faithfulness, and honoring one’s parents while rebuking cruelty and pride, set in a Muslim community and a Muslim family with some references to Allah, family folds their hands and pray before eating meals, thanks God for their blessings and considers nature as part of God’s presence; no foul language; strong violence when man chops off a lamb’s head to serve for dinner, and a shot of the mother preparing the bloody head for dinner, and light violence focuses on natural animal fights in the wild and animal bloodshed, an eagle attacks a fox and shreds it to pieces, a bloody dead fox lies in the snow, and eagle eats raw pieces of small animals while blood spills from its mouth, but no human to human violence; no sexual content; no nudity; no alcohol use; no smoking or drug use; and, light miscellaneous immorality shows jealousy from older eagle male hunters, who are not happy a girl beat them in the eagle hunting competition.

More Detail:

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is a beautifully shot documentary about a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia with a dream to compete in the Golden Eagle Festival, a competition no female has ever dared to enter. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is an inspiring documentary with breathtaking visuals and a Romantic, feminist worldview breaking down traditional ideas about men and women in a male-dominated culture, some morally positive elements, some bloody and dangerous hunting scenes, and some references to the theistic Muslim faith of the heroine’s family.

When 13-year-old Aisholpan expresses her desires to be an eagle hunter, the first in 12 generations of her family, her parents agree to support her. As the fearless girl says, “If a boy can do something, girls can do it as well.” From this moment, the audience goes on a remarkable journey with Aisholpan, to watch her train to become an eagle hunter.

Aisholpan first trains with her father’s eagle, but every eagle can only have one master, and the time has come for her to capture her own. Aisholpan climbs a rugged mountain top with her father and clambers down a rock cliff into the nest of a mother eagle. With great courage, she retrieves a baby eagle from the mother’s nest to train and teach it how to hunt for the great Golden Eagle Festival. Aisholpan’s eagle will live with her for seven years until she’s forced to release it back into the wild, an eagle hunter tradition to honor the circle of life.

When Aisholpan isn’t raising her eagle and training it how to hunt, she’s carrying out her family duties of milking the cows, studying hard at school and helping her mother prepare dinner for the family. Mongolians are family focused with a belief everyone in the family, men and women alike, are required to contribute to household chores and meal preparation. Aisholpan has limited free time after school and chores, but with fierce focus and dedication, she’ll do anything to make her eagle the best hunter it can be. She spends the afternoons with her father, where he teaches her how to train her eagle. Those scenes capture a beautiful father and daughter relationship.

When the day of the Golden Eagle Festival arrives, Aisholpan and her father hop on their horses, traveling miles with their 13 pound birds perched on their arm. Aisholpan is the first female to compete in the festival, but the judges question her ability to perform among legendary male hunters. When her eagle is released, it captures the dead animal and returns to her (its master) within 30 seconds! Aisholpan unexpectedly wins the competition, setting a new record for eagle hunters, since most eagles fly away from their masters once released from their arms. Aisholpan gleams and is given a golden trophy to showcase.

However, before she’s crowned the ultimate winner, she must hunt a fox with her eagle during winter and return it to prove to the men she’s a real eagle huntress.

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is director Otto Bell’s first feature documentary. After seeing a National Geographic photograph of the 13-year-old eagle huntress, he felt called to tell her story. Depleting his personal funds, he flew to Mongolia to shoot the cinematic story of this young girl’s dreams. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is an inspiring documentary, with breathtaking visuals. The Romantic, feminist worldview in THE EAGLE HUNTRESS breaks down traditional ideas about men and women and has some morally positive elements, some bloody and dangerous hunting scenes, and some references to the theistic but false Muslim faith of the heroine’s family.

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