For 2,000 years, the Kazakh people of the Altai region in western Mongolia have practiced a tradition of hunting with golden eagles, whose wingspan can reach up to 7.5 feet wide. Though this practice has traditionally been the domain of men, Aisholpan decides that she wants to become an apprentice hunter after spending her childhood helping her father, a renowned eagle hunter, care for his birds. Under the tutelage and support of her father and her grandfather—and very few others—Aisholpan learns all aspects of falconry, from taming her very own eagle to training for an annual competition, where she will compete against 70 eagle hunters on her quest to gain acceptance. Featuring breathtaking cinematography and intimate footage, this film not only explores the life of a young girl striving to pursue her passion and break down gender barriers in a very traditional culture but also provides an engaging glimpse into the lives of this remote community, as they balance their traditional lifestyle with the modern world.
BAFTA 2017: Nominated for Best Documentary Palm Springs International Film Festival 2017: Winner of the Directors to Watch Award (Otto Bell) Premiere on the Sundance Film Festival 2017
The Eagle Huntress
29 June 2017
Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley, Rys Nurgaiv
UK, Mongolia, USA