Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
As unlikely as it is enchanting, The Eagle Huntress tells its documentary story with such sureness that falling under its sway is all but inevitable.
Along with Aisholpan’s enduring spirit, The Eagle Huntress excels in portraying the beauty and respect the people here have for both the animals and environment.
Viewers jaded by daily doses of digital dazzlement might not fully register the reality of the wonders they are witnessing. But that doesn’t, in the end, make The Eagle Huntress any less wonderful.
Even if Aisholpan’s training – which includes hoodwinking, responding to calls, dragging dead foxes and other hallmarks of falconry – is for the camera, it doesn’t make it any less extraordinary. Especially in this remarkable environment, captured in breathtakingly crisp digital video.
Slant Magazine
Aisholpan’s liberation is a harbinger of the growing pressure that the outside world exerts on a once isolated community.
The movie’s restrained second half stuns, ranking as one of the most magical stretches of nonfiction filmmaking in recent years.
The film, some of which looks staged, is too slick, and its feminist emphasis, complete with Australian performer Sia singing “You can do anything” on the soundtrack, grates. But Aisholpan triumphs over these excesses.
Director Otto Bell has found himself in awe-inspiring territory. Aisholpan is a remarkable person interacting with majestic creatures, surrounded by staggering natural beauty. It’s easy to become entranced.
Like Disney’s “True-Life Adventures” of yore, it educates while deploying some likely sleight-of-hand, and doesn’t really invite the kind of methodological scrutiny a more verite-style documentary would.
Visually, the results are quite often striking, and they are also sharply cut together. But there’s a nagging suspicion throughout that there’s been more preparation for especially the set-pieces than would normally be the case on a documentary.

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