The Eagle Huntress Reviews
I remember when this film was considered for the Oscars race. But some people were saying everything from the film was staged, instead of reality. I was like, had no idea what to say for such accusation since I haven't seen it yet. That's when I just had watched 'Brothers of the Wind', an Austrian documentary style feature film on the almost similar theme. So I had lots of expectation on this one, but now, after watching, in fact, while watching itself got frustrated by it and also very happy it did not make into the Oscars.
I expected a Mongolian tale and yes, it was, but about a Kazakh family. Except the subtitle for the language spoken in the film, there was an English narration that voiced by Daisy Ridley in the background to explain the events properly. Because this is not an interview kind of documentary, but follows a couple of characters to their adventures. Yep, almost entire film did not look like a natural event, but pre-planned. It's a directional debut for the filmmaker. Definitely he has the capacity, but did not pick the right theme.
It's about a nomad family living in the nowhere of Mongolian grassland. The film opened with by saying the eagle training art is older than many historic events and its people the region has seen. So this little family has no son since the art is only passed on to them for generations. But the 13-year-old Aisholpan is interested to follow her father's footstep. That's where it all begins when she begins her training, following to have her own bird before competing in the biggest annual event in the nation.
I don't know when the last time I rated a film this low, especially for a documentary film, probably this one is the first. I hated everything about the film since I'm a big animal fan. Lots of people who saw it appreciating without the brain. I wonder, would they all appreciated as well the abduction films like 'Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story', 'Abducted: The Carlina White Story' et cetera for not revealing the truth, but the crime committed in it, just like an eaglet was abducted in this.
For me it looked like about an animal abuse and animal slavery. Everything they did in the film were for pleasure, for the record, for honour and of course for the film-making. Since humans are civilised and at present in the modern world, we had ended many inhumane practices and this is one of them should be abolished as soon as possible.
If a farmer uses a cattle (domestic animal) in his field means he's intended to feed the millions. So do you think snatching an eaglet (wild animal) and training it would do the same or any worth. In fact, it is to kill other animals, like the fox. If an eagle hunts a fox in the natural world, that's very natural, but doing it for human is a big imbalance. DON'T SUPPORT SUCH FILM GUYS. Hats off to the Academy Awards for snubbing it. The competition that showed in the film was good, but I really heart broken when they went on to prove even more than that in the third act.
It is not an inspiring film, but disgusting. If people/animal fans go after on a fiction feature film like 'Wiener-Dog' for depicting animal(s) badly, why not this documentary film based on the live- real. Please don't show it to the little kids. This film joins the list of those a very few I hate badly such as 'Man vs. Wild'. I regret watching it, but I would have not known such bad practice is still exists in the 21st century. If you are an animal lover like me, stay away from it. Instead, I highly, strongly recommend a beautiful, inspiring, message film 'Brothers of the Wind'. So totally ignorable film.
The use of various small digital cameras with high-tech capabilities made for a tremendously beautiful film. Drone footage over the countryside of Mongolia is magnificent as well as some Go-Pro footage directly from the body of an eagle swooping over the terrain. Neither was overused but merely added to the overall texture of the story unfolding over a long period of time. And I cannot think of another father-daughter film that really warmed me like this one did. 'The Eagle Huntress' really packs a good dose of feminist punch for anyone who feels the need to see more positive female energy in film - or in life in general.
This documentary is amazing and Aisholpan is an inspiration. She is lucky to have been born to enlightened parents willing to let her pursue her dreams.