The Eagle Huntress
December 17, 2016 9:41 PM   Subscribe

13-year-old Aisholpan's quest to capture and tame a golden eagle - " 'This afternoon we are going down the mountain to steal an eagle for Aisholpan. Do you want to film that?' ... It's a heart-stopping scene: a young girl with plaits jauntily tied with pink ribbons makes a terrifying descent while an angry mother eagle circles menacingly overhead." (via)
posted by kliuless (16 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am crossing my fingers for an Oscar nomination; I have a local theater that participates in the Oscar shorts and Oscar documentary screenings program where they show all the various shorts and docs that otherwise don't get wide release. But they have to be nominated to be shown!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:31 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


That looks stunning. But I'm surprised by the choice to narrate it. I think the only ethnographic documentaries I've seen with that sort of descriptive voiceover are quite old. The modern ones I'm familiar with usually let the footage speak for itself, with subtitling of the participants' own speech where appropriate. Is that something that is changing, or did this guy make an unusual choice? I find it a bit disconcerting because it makes it feel like a David Attenborough style thing where these people aren't really people who can speak for themselves.
posted by lollusc at 11:08 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the movie narrated or just the trailer? Lots of trailers get voice over narration even when the movie doesn't.
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:46 AM on December 18, 2016


I thought that too at first but:

"A rite-of-passage movie about a girl’s dreams of being the first female to enter the Golden Eagle competition is pleasantly feelgood, plus it’s narrated by Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley".
posted by lollusc at 1:07 AM on December 18, 2016


Looking forward to this, though the music used in the trailer seemed kind of... generic?
posted by progosk at 2:19 AM on December 18, 2016


Aisholpan and her family sound incredible and the footage looks gorgeous. But I'm uncomfortable with the fact that the film is narrated by a white Brit. It feels like a tone-deaf choice that puts a pop culture / white feminist / girl power twist on the same old white British voice of authority that is colonialist and dehumanizing- like a nature special about animals.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:31 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


My kids saw this and enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to it myself, but there's some possible embellishment going on here too.
posted by mattamatic at 4:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


"A rite-of-passage movie about a girl’s dreams of being the first female to enter the Golden Eagle competition is pleasantly feelgood, plus it’s narrated/ executive produced by Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley".

I saw this at TIFF. Aisholpan and her parents were there. The narration is there because this is, in a way, a movie aimed at kids. They had a tiny crew - 3 people for the most part - but the cinematography is epic thanks to some top notch drone work.

The director was clear that she was only huntress in her area and that she was the only woman to compete at their particular tournament. If anything, the movie is lacking the stereotypical story beats of having to go against father's wishes, etc, because none of those things happen. Most everyone is on board with her goals. So it becomes less about having to fight the system, and more about deciding what you want to do and going out and succeeding at it.
posted by thecjm at 6:16 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


I saw it at TIFF Lightbox a few weeks ago. Just go and see it, because even Chuck Norris can't hunt on horseback in -40°C with an eagle while being a 13 year old girl.
posted by scruss at 6:50 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


I haven't seen it, but poking around reviews it appears that there is substantial subtitled Kazakh dialog "supplemented by gently didactic voice-over narration."
posted by jedicus at 8:27 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


But I'm uncomfortable with the fact that the film is narrated by a white Brit. It feels like a tone-deaf choice that puts a pop culture / white feminist / girl power twist on the same old white British voice of authority that is colonialist and dehumanizing- like a nature special about animals.

The point of narration is to make the content accessible to the target audience. It seems a bit ... overly sensitive to be offended that the person trying to (essentially) translate the foreign content for the audience is not of a close enough ethnic origin to the content.

It's like suggesting an Italian person translating into English is somehow more culturally respectful and more authentic than an English native speaker doing so. It's translation, just as narration is.
posted by Brockles at 9:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


An anthropologist's take on it (she saw it at Sundance and talked to Aisholpan; her father, Nurgaiv Rys; her mother, Alma Dalaykan; and Otto Bell.)
posted by gudrun at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I saw it and it's excellent. The narration makes it much more accessible to kids who wouldn't be able to infer as much as adults and also fills in some of the blanks about a culture none of us know much about, let's face it. And it's definitely not about a family who cannot speak for themselves, that's an uncharitable interpretation and let's not have a pile on from people who haven't seen it. It's a wonderful movie, I highly recommend watching it.
posted by fshgrl at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just saw a picture of a young New Zealand woman holding a hunting golden eagle in Kazakhstan. She was in the news because she was initially denied a visa because "New Zealand is part of Australia" and she didn't have an Australian passport.
posted by eye of newt at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I saw the movie last week and liked it very much. There's really not much narration in English compared to the Kazakh dialogue, or that's how it seemed to me while watching. Very accessible, beautiful to watch, and a very cheering story. Plus it's only an hour and a half, which I approve of heartily.

It's a good thing the theater was dark so nobody could see me grinning foolishly through most of the movie.
posted by asperity at 1:27 PM on December 18, 2016


I've been keeping half an eye on this through its development, and from what I remember Ridley was one of the reasons this movie took off. She got interested in the project, and her stardom enabled them to get a foot in the door in a few different areas.
posted by schroedinger at 2:50 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


« Older The Painter   |   This holiday, bake some bleeps and bloops with... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments