Surprising and gripping by turns, it is totally worth watching the film being called this year’s Mustang (by me). Otto Bell’s The Eagle Huntress is a documentary about Aisholpan, Mongolia’s first eagle huntress and a trailblazer in the field of eagle hunting.
Of course, the monstrous irony inherent in calling the film “The Eagle Huntress” is that the eagles themselves are almost always females and therefore not as likely to face gender discrimination, but that the hunters themselves are always male, (do female eagle hunters lack some sort of killer instinct?)
The film opens with a daring rescue of an eagle from its nest, (even though “rescue” may be something of a euphemism, the bird appears to be happy with the family of Aisholpan). There may be a debate about the morality of snatching an eagle from its nest, (as well as using the eagle to hunt foxes), what cannot be questioned is that Aishlopan is a hero(ine) in confronting the prejudice and injustice that is inherent within her village. Eagle huntress meets instant progress.