A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn about the millennia-old practice of eagle hunting among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia/Central Asia. They'll get in-depth information about the process of how to catch, train, and hunt with an eagle -- and why the birds are eventually set free from service. Explains why eagles are necessary to help the tribes with food and clothes/warmth in the winter.
The overwhelming message is that girls/women can do anything that boys/men do -- and that there's no reason to be sexist about what females are capable of, even if they're doing things that been traditionally done by males. Also shows the power of perseverance/hard work and of parental support and encouragement. Without her father's guidance and her mother's support, Aisholpan wouldn't have been able to accomplish everything she did.
Positive Role Models
Aisholpan is a wonderful role model: she's disciplined, dedicated, and hard-working. She's also courageous and kind, as well as a loving daughter, sister, and friend. Aisholpan's father patiently and supportively teaches her how to become an eagle hunter. Aisholpan's mother just wants her to do what makes her happy, even if it's more of a challenge than following the typical path for females.
Violence & Scariness
Certain aspects of hunting might be hard for younger viewers to see -- like the way Aisholpan's father skins animals and the way the eagles hunt foxes. Also shots of dead animals draped on saddles.
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Products & Purchases
Sally Hansen nail polish.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Eagle Huntress is a documentary about an extraordinary 13-year-old named Aisholpan Nurgai, who strives to become the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations of her nomadic Mongolian tribe's history. Her story will encourage girls to see that there doesn't have to be any limit to what they can accomplish -- and that with dedication, perseverance, and discipline, they can enter fields traditionally dominated by men. There's no strong language (though there are some subtitles to read), sex, or substance use, but tweens and up are the ideal audience. Little kids may have trouble with the frank depiction of hunting. With her father's guidance and her grandfather and mother's blessing, Aisholpan overcomes many obstacles to make her dreams come true. She also challenges stereotypes by being a fierce, courageous, focused hunter, as well as feminine (she loves bows and nail polish). This powerful, inspiring documentary, narrated and produced by Daisy Ridley, is a film that all children -- regardless of gender -- should see. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As this inspiring documentary proves, girls can do anything, including becoming the first female eagle hunter in the 1,000-year history of her family's tribe. Filmmaker Otto Bell's debut documentary feels particularly timely, coming out in a year (2016) when women's role in society is being discussed far and wide. The involvement of Ridley, who played girl-power icon Rey in Star Wars, feels especially significant as a result. And so does Sia's; her award-worthy original song for the movie, "Angel by the Wings," features the refrain "You can do anything" again and again. But the real star, of course, is Aisholpan, who's simply remarkable.
She's sweet and friendly; she loves painting her nails and wearing glittery bows in her braids. But she's also completely focused, fearless, and ready to do what it takes to become the next eagle hunter in her family -- even if she's bucking a millennium of patriarchal tradition. But Aisholpan's story is also the story of her father, who could have easily discouraged her interest in and gift for hunting and waited for her younger brother to come of age and train him instead. The father-daughter bond is remarkable, and Aisholpan's hardworking mom clearly wants her lovely, clever daughter to do what makes her happy. You couldn't ask for better parental role models. Although a couple of moments seem a bit staged, and the hunting sequences are clearly edited for maximum dramatic tension, The Eagle Huntress soars as it shows viewers exactly why girls and women should never be underestimated.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.