The film was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and was a BAFTA Award nominee.
2016 | G | 1 h 27 min | Documentary, Adventure, Sport
The Eagle Huntress follows the story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia, as she attempts to become the first female eagle hunter to compete in the eagle festival at Ulgii, Mongolia, established in 1999. She belongs to a family of nomads that spend their summers in a yurt in the Altai Mountains and their winters in a house in town. The men in her family have been eagle hunters for seven generations, and she wants to follow in their footsteps.
With her father Nurgaiv’s help, she learns how to train golden eagles, and then captures and trains her own eaglet. Although she faces some disbelief and opposition within the traditionally male tradition, she becomes the first female to enter the competition at the annual Golden Eagle Festival. She ends up winning the competition, and her eaglet breaks a speed record in one of the events.
After the competition, she takes the final step toward becoming an eagle hunter by traveling with her father to the mountains in the winter to hunt foxes, braving snowy conditions and extreme cold. After some initial misses, her eaglet successfully kills its first fox and she returns home.
The film’s dialog is in Kazakh; the narration is in English.