An extremely opulent desert version of the Eagle Huntress competition. Falcons are flown in (on planes), caravans of motorcycles and SUVs arrive, a jumbotron is assembled and participants watch from gaudy plush chairs.
Ancarani gives us no narration or explanation, just displays these wondrous events in longish takes, a style I was expecting from the shorts, but which didn’t thrill Katy. Little of the (pigeon-hunting?) competition is shown, and most of that is seen from a falcon-affixed camera – it’s mostly travel, setup, and side events. Hooded falcons scan their heads back and forth on a plane, attendees photograph everything on their gold iPhones, tricked-out SUVs see who can drive furthest up the dunes.
Jay Kuehner in Cinema Scope:
a hypnotic study in contrasts: the wild and the tame, the gilded and the barren, ennui and excitement, technology and nature … the film’s pageantry strikes an unforced semblance, sans birds, to the weekend culture of American sporting events and arena-rock parking lots. Exoticism is purely contextual.
One guy arrives in a lamborghini with his pet cheetah:
The Soul Riders, Qatar Chapter:
Bidding on new falcons via remote auction: