The Eagle Huntress (Blu-ray + DVD)
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|Contributor||Rys Nurgaiv, Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley (Narrator), Otto Bell|
|Runtime||1 hour and 28 minutes|
Daisy Ridley narrates this documentary which follows 13-year-old Kazakh girl Aisholpan as she looks to become the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations of her family. After undergoing months of intense training with her father, Aisholpan aims to overcome the odds and compete with the best eagle hunters in the world at the renowned Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Language : Kazakh
- Package Dimensions : 18 x 13.8 x 1.5 cm; 100 Grams
- Director : Otto Bell
- Media Format : PAL
- Run time : 1 hour and 28 minutes
- Release date : 5 July 2017
- Actors : Rys Nurgaiv, Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley (Narrator)
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Studio : Sony
- ASIN : B072KRPXLQ
- Country of origin : Australia
- Number of discs : 2
- Customer Reviews:
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She actually captures her own Eagle chick whilst her father lowers her down a dangerous mountain precipice on spindly-looking ropes. All the while, the mother Eagle is hovering scarily close and the girl, Aisholpan has her work cut out to capture the chick before she returns to the nest.
She lovingly rears the chick at home, hand feeding it with meat speared on a stick and sets out with her father to train it to hunt - spending days outdoors in freezing conditions that only men are supposed to be able to endure. Her aim is to train it up and enter a yearly competition, again, only usually entered by men or youths. Surprisingly, although she is female and this kind of behaviour is not usually supported in her culture, she is not actually forbidden from entering the competition and goes ahead, with the encouragement of her father (and mother - who thinks she's very daring and outrageous but is ultimately proud of her).
I won't give away the ending but the cynical elders, despite having proof that some women can do what men do, remain unmoved in their opinions and insist that Aisholpan will ultimately have to marry and behave in a way that is becoming to a woman of their culture. What they fail to understand is that she is one of a kind and not all Kazakh girls will want to become Eagle Huntresses, as is indicated when Aisholpan is seen with her school friends in the weekly boarding school she attends. They are all terrified at the thought of handling an Eagle so I think the Kazakh nomadic culture is safe from sensational new ideas for the time being! No-one seems to think the use of motor vehicles or mobile phones is counter cultural though - just the thought that their masculinity has been undermined by a thirteen year old girl whose skill and daring puts most modern European children to shame. Asking a UK teenager to touch a piece of raw meat would probably send them into floods of tears and refusal, never mind asking them to feed it to an Eagle!
Watch and learn! Fantastic scenery, gorgeous costumes and stunningly beautiful people who have a calm inner strength and a serenity that belies their tough and unforgiving living conditions.
It feels a bit Disney in places, but it's actually based on a true story, so the 'unlikely' things that happen really DID happen! Beautifully filmed as well - which, if you know the circumstances under which it was filmed, is quite extrordinary. I watched a documentary, or heard a radio programme (I can't remember which) on how it was made, but can't remember when or where, but if you can track that down, it's also worth a watch/listen.
Having prior knowledge of this film, I was anticipating that there would be a lot more fuss about it when it was released, but it seems to have passed by almost unoticed, which is a great shame, as it deserved a much wider distribution.
Definitely get this DVD - you won't be disappointed.
A thoroughly engrossing watch. Full of wild, majestic scenery and the beauty of the bird.
I loved it all. And will watch over and over.
The best bit...? When they honour the right of the bird to regain his freedom. And give him back to the skies and cliffs. If I could give 10 stars I would.
I bought the blu-ray version which only amplifies the stunning cinematography.