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The Eagle Huntress

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Falconry is one of the oldest sports in the world, with birds of prey still flown today for the amusement of tourists at bird rescue centers and wildlife parks. Otto Bell’s documentary The Eagle Huntress explores the remarkable story of people in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, who hunt actual prey with golden eagles both as an important cultural tradition and a means to survival. The film follows the genuinely inspiring tale of Aisholpan, the first girl to learn the skills of eagle hunting and compete in an annual contest. Aisholpan is a hugely engaging protagonist, determined to overcome patriarchal prejudice and demonstrate her skills and talent. Bell carefully portrays her journey, including school lessons, home life and training sequences that are truly breathtaking, both in terms of the extraordinary landscapes and the evident power of the eagles as they fly to and from the hand. Daisy Ridley’s lively narration is balanced with interviews with Aisholpan and her family, ensuring that this different world is easily comprehensible to the viewer. This accessibility is combined with charming humour and some genuinely punch-the-air moments to make The Eagle Huntress one of the most uplifting and inspiring films of the year.
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