All That Breathes
The air in New Delhi is so polluted that birds of prey are falling from the skies. Notable amongst the casualties are the megacity’s ubiquitous black kites—so named for their ability to gracefully soar. Two brothers from a Muslim family—former bodybuilders Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud—have dedicated the past two decades of their lives to taking in over 20,000 black kites through the Wildlife Rescue clinic that they established in their garage. Treating record numbers of ill and injured birds, Nadeem, Saud, and their endearingly curious volunteer assistant Salik strive to keep the operation afloat despite understaffing and funding issues. Meanwhile, political tensions loom over their neighbourhood as ominously as the smog.
Bolstered by incredible soundscapes and breathtaking cinematography that casts Delhi’s ecology in an otherworldly light, Shaunak Sen’s sophomore documentary provides intriguing insights into animals’ behavioural adaptations to a polluted urban environment. A deeply moving story of devotion to birds, All That Breathes delivers a powerful meditation on the climate crisis and the interconnectedness of all living organisms.
In Hindi with English subtitles
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, Sundance 2022; Oeil d’or Award for Best Documentary, Cannes 2022
Academy Award nominee: Best Documentary
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