The Eagle Huntress

Director: Otto Bell. Featuring: Daisy Ridley. USA/UK/Mongolia 2016. 87 mins. English, and Kazakh with English subtitles.

In the remote Mongolian landscape, the nomadic Kazakh people have for generations perfected fox hunting, using trained eagles. It was traditionally an exclusively male sport, but Aisholpan, the 13-year-old daughter of a much-garlanded eagle hunter, calmly decided to change all that. Documentarian Otto Bell’s film follows her progress, including pivotal events such as the plucking of a young eagle from its cliff-side nest, all leading up to the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where Aisholpan is not only the first ever female contestant, but also the youngest. Disapproval if not downright chauvinism from some Kazakh traditionalists is offset by Aisholpan’s good-hearted determination, the fascinating business of training these huge, powerful birds, and breathtaking footage of the Altai mountains. A suitably impressed Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) narrates.

General admission screenings

Thu 19th Jan

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