Who needs a canine for a companion when a gal can have an eagle? That’s the aspiration behind poetic documentary The Eagle Huntress, which follows the yearnings of a young teen who’s got it in her head to break a 12-generation, Kazakh-family tradition in the soaring, magnificently photogenic mountain ranges of the Mongolian steppe.
Directed by Otto Bell, the movie is as familial as it is large. Aisholpan, with her siblings, boards at a country schoolhouse, where she’s like any female 13-year-old. In her case, her father, like the males who came before him, is an eagle hunter, stealing the young birds from their nests, and training them to dive for wildlife to provide his family with nutritional sustenance and warm-clothing resources. Aisholpan may live in a remote region of the world, but her mindset is extraordinarily modern: she wants in on the tradition.
Not all the village elders share the same mindset. However, with a father so supportive of his daughter’s ambitions as to almost defy belief, Aisholpan is guided by Dad to capture her own hatchling – one bird, one master – and then make it her own: living with it, feeding it, teaching it, and hunting with it (you can almost feel the terrain’s frigid temperatures bouncing off the screen). After seven years of benefiting from the eagle’s service, the master releases its charge back into the wild.
As with many fictional narratives, proof of success occurs through besting one’s opponents, and the teen is the first female to enter the celebrated Golden Eagle event to face dozens of regional competitors.
Clearly The Eagle Huntress is a terrific Venusian and also Mars-infused girl-power movie – think of it as Whale Rider but with a bird rather than an undersea mammal – which was helped along by Daisy Ridley (Rey, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) who narrates here and executive-produced. But the film’s key archetypal resonance is through demonstrating the Saturnine principle of we’ve-always-done-it-this-way tradition, and breaking through such impasses in true Uranian fashion. The fact that Aisholpan rebels with an eagle reinforces the power of ideas to soar through the collective, provoking those within reach to act.
Archetype: Tradition. Vision. Revolutionary. Freedom. Progress.
Astrology Archetype: ♀ ♂ ♄ ♅ (Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus)