In Hillary Clinton’s concession speech last month, she made a poignant address to “all of the little girls” watching, reminding them never to “doubt that [they] are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve [their] own dreams". If you were to scour the globe for a young girl who embodies this sentiment, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than Mongolian teenager Aisholpan, the star of Otto Bell’s brilliant new documentary The Eagle Huntress, which arrives in UK cinemas this week and is already hotly tipped for an Oscar.
Aisholpan, with the support of her loving father Nurgaiv, is determined to defy centuries-old Kazakh tradition to become the first ever female eagle hunter. A pursuit that requires resilience, strength, precision and technical skill, eagle hunting – her Kazakh elders inform her – is not for girls. But Aisholpan remains quietly self-confident and sets out on a mission to prove herself. A gruelling but rewarding journey ensues, taking her from her home in the Altai Mountains to the prestigious Golden Eagle competition in Mongolia's westernmost aimag, right into the heart of the country’s treacherous, snow-capped wilderness. The film, with breathtaking cinematography and narration by Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, is an enthralling and uplifting feminist tale, and the perfect remedy to the 2016 blues. Here, in celebration of its release, we take a look at 10 other must-watch documentaries to inspire female empowerment.
The Eagle Huntress is in cinemas nationwide from 16th December, 2016.