So I joined The Cinema Club again (with My Lovely Bride this time!) and wanted to share the most recent film we screened.
It’s called The Eagle Huntress and it’s good. It’s about a 13-year-old girl in a nomadic Mongolian tribe who wants to become the first female eagle hunter. This is a big deal because eagle hunting is almost a sacred rite passed down from father to son for many generations. It’s also a difficult and dangerous endeavor.
For example, you don’t just tootle on down to the pet store to pick up a baby eagle. You have to find an eagle’s next out in the wild that has a healthy female eaglet that is around three months old (big enough to begin training but before it can fly), then you have to do some dangerous mountain climbing to retrieve the eagle from the nest while the mother eagle is gone and before she comes back or game over. And YOU have to do it.
If you are successful with that, then you have to enter the yearly prestigious Eagle Hunting Festival where you have to be judged with your eagle performing various difficult trials. Then, even if you can do well enough at that, you have to actually go out in -40 degree weather in the mountains of Mongolia and hunt actual foxes with your eagle or you are not a “real” eagle hunter.
And you can’t do any of it without the support of your family, the training of your father and the blessing of your grandfather. In a culture with incredibly strict and enforced gender roles.
Good luck with that!
And if you are a documentation on a shoesting budget who wants to film all this? You have to bring a minimum of crew and equipment and figure out how to film the mountain climbing, the intricate festival, the insular nomadic community, the shy main subject, and the -40 degree hunting which in no mean feat.
It’s inspiring and I can’t wait for it to be out later this week so I can tell my students about it.
In an added girl-power bonus, the film is narrated by Daisy Ridley; Rey from The Force Awakens.