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The Eagle Huntress

Directed by Otto Bell

Mongolia, 2016

HOME, 23 December 2016

The Eagle Huntress

The people in this documentary film are wonderful, in particular the protagonist, a teenage girl who wants to raise an eagle and train and hunt with it. She loves her father and wants to follow in his footsteps.

The landscapes, the icy steppes and mountains of Mongolia, are wonderful as well, thrilling in their majesty.

What lets the film down is the threadbare, predictable narrative – you always somehow know where it is heading. The contrivance of certain scenes – you don’t entirely believe what you are seeing – is a problem too. And the voice-over, a patronising voice speaking a script which panders to identity politics (look, a girl in a man’s world), prodding you and telling you what to think rather than showing you interesting, complicated stuff and letting you come to your own conclusions – well, that’s another let down.

And in the tussle at the end between an eagle and a fox, why should I be rooting for the eagle? For the predator, rather than the prey? Clearly, a fox has as urgent a claim to precious life as any other creature.

Very worthy and all that, but really this is a very poor film.