A Moving Movie Both Important and Beautiful
Okay, geeks, it's not often that Madame Moody will write a review for a movie that has nothing to do with Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, so pay attention!
When it comes to things that are important to Moody, you better believe that girl power is on the very top of that list. And this movie, The Eagle Huntress, has just that and so much more.
Thirteen-year-old Aisholpan lives with her family in a modest yurt for the warmer months and a modest mud/brick dwelling/school dorm the rest of the year. She knows how to care for cattle, dreams of being a doctor and has an interesting best friend--her father. Aisholpan is also descended from famous eagle hunters for many generations back, eagle hunters who were all men. Even today, all eagle hunters are men, but Aisholpan has a dream--to be an eagle hunter. And she has a family who will gladly face ridicule, anger and strife to make sure the girl who has the eagle hunting spirit in her blood gets her chance to prove herself.
I want you geeks to watch it, so I won't tell you how it goes. I will say that on a five-star scale, this was an eleven for me. The shooting was magnificent, the narration sparse and tastefully done, and the story had me laughing, crying and hoping.
One of my favorite moments in the video is when Aisholpan's father says that, to him, girls and boys are equal. This might seems a very simple sentiment, but it is not one that I've heard from many men, and I have RARELY seen it play out in day to day life. Some men I know will claim equality, but to see that belief in action in the way her father supports and trains her is hope-inducing.
In the movie, a judge for the eagle hunter's competition says something about Aisholpan that would be easy to overlook. He says something to the effect that it is even more important for Aisholpan, as a girl, to show she can handle her horse and eagle, sit well and ride well. That is an astute comment, whether he made it to be so or not. The fact is, women truly do have to work harder in many occupations to be seen as a viable person in the field. Men walk into eagle hunting as a right. The elders against Aishoplan make this clear--women are weak, frail and could not make it. Women have no right to compete, and they have every stereotype against them.
Aishoplan, in her humble, smiling, and fierce way accepts the challenges laid out before her with grace, as many women have had to do in order to change the status quo. And she has her father cheering her on in front of all the nay sayers, telling them, "This is just the beginning. More will come!"
And the light in his eyes, the way Aishoplan smiles his way, reveling in the warmth of having a father who not only cheers her on, but speaks of female engagement and equality with such passion is enough to make this movie one of the best of the year.
A truly moving film about a family you will fall in love with, about the eagles who love them, and about bravery in the face of odds.