‘The Eagle Huntress’ soars with possibility


In the 2002 New Zealand film “Whale Rider” (directed by Niki Caro), a 13-year-old Maori girl named Paikea disrupts an ancient tradition of progeniture — a system that pre-ordains the eldest son as first in the line of succession for leadership — to emerge as the new chief destined to breathe new life to her dying tribe.

Traipsing on a similar path, the 2016 U.K.-produced film “The Eagle Huntress” (directed by Otto Bell) follows the adventures of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl from a nomadic Kazakh tribe in Mongolia, who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to emerge victorious in a tournament that had been, for generations, the exclusive domain of men.

The parallels between the two films are striking, but having said that, there is a marked difference. “Whale Rider” is an earnest work of fiction based on a Maori cultural myth; “The Eagle Huntress” is a…



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