If Sen were to better connect Nadeem and Saud’s faith and civic identities with the kites and other animals’ desperate fight for balance in an urbanized nature, All That Breathes would be an excellent documentary.
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What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The twin issues of climate change and Delhi’s ensuing air pollution remain largely unspoken factors in Sen’s film, which in its best moments constructs elaborate tracking shots detailing the full scale of devastation caused by extreme weather conditions.
Saud, Nadeem and Salik are engaging and inspirational individuals. Shaunak Sen’s film does justice to their efforts but also allows us to see the bigger picture of a highly connected, complex world that humanity shares but seems intent on destroying.
Portrait of a city? Portrait of a pair of heroic brothers? Portrait of humanity on the brink of COVID? In this tiny marvel of a documentary, it’s a little and a lot all at once.
All That Breathes is determined to illustrate how two peoples’ failure to listen to each other is no different than one species’ failure to acknowledge the rest of its environment — that each aspect of Delhi is sharing the same broken conversation, whether they recognize that or not.