Step by step, this observational and almost wordless documentary takes us through every aspect
of falconry as practiced in Middle Eastern countries: all the way from the catching of field mice
in a fishing village in Iran to competitive falcon shows in Abu Dhabi. Each step is a new chapter
marked by a title and poetic instruction. The long scenes underline the level of patience and
knowledge necessary for each stage in the process. Take for example the old man on windswept
sands calmly digging an underground trap connected to his own camouflaged hiding place. Two
boys help him with this time-consuming task, while a bird tied to the car roof (bait for the falcon
they intend to capture) stares at them. Although the much-prized predators this enterprise
provides will certainly live in captivity, their precise fate is as yet undetermined. Blindfolded and
feet bound, the animals are taken to various dealers who measure them and negotiate heatedly.
Each of the falcons has its own destination: a busy city square as a tourist attraction, a falconry
center as an object of study alongside stuffed companions, or the world of falconry, where it will
undergo a period of remarkable training to reach competition form.




Maziyar Moshtagh Gohari