The Eagle Huntress at the Curzon, Bloomsbury

Until January 7th. Poster shows  Aisholpan flying her eagle

Fantastic film/documentary directed by Otto Bell showing at the Curzon Bloomsbury (the old Renoir) in the Bertha Dochouse Cinema.

Aisholpan with her father and her eagle

The Eagle Huntress follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.

Set against the breath-taking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, The Eagle Huntress features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl’s quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film.

While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined.

Mind you, the same old men who said she could never succeed and Eagle Hunting was unsuitable for a girl, were grudging when she was highly successful (can’t say more without giving away the climax) said she only succeeded because she was a girl. Misogyny is worldwide!!

The Bertha Dochouse cinema was opened in 2015 as Britain’s first dedicated documentary cinema. It’s comfortable enough and its aims are great, but it has the same forbidding grey seats and grey concrete walls as the rest of the refurbished Bloomsbury Curzon. It feels like threading your way through a gulag.

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