The Eagle Huntress will be shown at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. The story features a young girl’s personal quest through awe-inspiring cinematography. This is a free community film presented by the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Betsy and Jesse Fink and Walking Mountains Science Center. The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).
The Eagle Huntress is a British-Mongolian-American documentary film directed by Otto Bell and executive-produced by Morgan Spurlock and Daisy Ridley. The film was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and nominated for the BAFTA for Best Documentary. The film originally premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and has since been named a New York Times Critics Pick and an LA Times Critics Pick. Chief Film Critics at the New York Times, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, called the film “a bliss out” and “a movie that expands your sense of what is possible.”
The film follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, on her quest to rise to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who strongly reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined.
The story begins after Aisholpan has been training with her father’s eagle for many months. As every eagle can only have one master, the time has come for Aisholpan to capture an eagle of her own. Aisholpan retrieves a fledgling eagle from its nest as its mother circles overhead. Her eagle will live, train, and hunt with her, until she releases it into the wild years later, so the cycle of life can continue.
Aisholpan enters a renowned competition, the Golden Eagle Festival, and faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters. However, the most arduous challenge is yet to come, as the rite-of-passage for every young eagle hunter is to take part in a hunt. Aisholpan must ride with her father deep into the frigid mountains and endure 40 below zero temperatures and perilous landscapes to prove she is a true eagle huntress.