At the opening night Colorado Avenue feed (in September), director Werner Herzog checked out the Mongol father and daughter holding their trained eagles on their arms for a photo op (top photo). Sony Pictures Classics is pushing the movie for a documentary Oscar. Director Otto Bell told me his crew carried so much gear up into the Altai Mountains to shoot “The Eagle Huntress” (opening October 28), a powerful female empowerment doc about the first woman to compete with her eagle in her local village’s annual contest, that they had to leave some heavy pieces behind due to prohibitive weight overages.
Teenage ‘Eagle Huntress’ Overturns 2,000 Years Of Male Tradition READ HERE
Aisholpan’s family members are nomadic Kazakh herders of the Altai mountains region who base their subsistence economy on herding cattle and goats. An essential supplement to the herders’ livelihood comes from the practice of training golden-eagle chicks to become their close partners in the hunting of foxes and other small mammals used for food and clothing.
This specialized hunting practice — woven into the fabric of everyday life and celebrated at regional competitions — has been an entirely male endeavor throughout its history, passed down in families from generation to generation.
Now, just as climate change threatens this way of life and as only 250 eagle hunters remain in Mongolia, Aisholpan is coming to the world’s attention as the first woman eagle huntress.
A gender barrier upheld for hundreds of years falls before the prowess of a 13-year-old girl in the U.S.-produced documentary “The Eagle Huntress.”
What Was Ours
A documentary about a Shoshone elder, a powwow princess, and an Arapaho journalist searching for artifacts that once belonged to their ancestors.