Tuškanac Cinema / Sunday, 21 May / 8.00 pm

All that Breathes (Closing Film Screening)

India, UK, USA, 2022, 91'
Director: Shaunak Sen · Photography: Ben Bernhard, Riju Das, Saumyananda Sahi· Editing: Charlotte Munch Bengtsen · Producer: Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann, Teddy Leifer - HBO Documentary Films, Rise Films, Kiterabbit Films, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios · Cast: Salik Rehman, Mohammad Saud, Nadeem Shehzad

In one of the world’s most populous cities, two brothers, Nadeem and Saud, devote their lives to a quixotic effort to save the black kite, a majestic bird of prey crucial for the New Delhi ecosystem. In the midst of social unrest and living in a toxic environment, the two brothers tirelessly work in their basement hospital to care for the black kites that keep falling from the sky at alarming rates. Director Shaunak Sen explores the relationship between the birds and the brothers who are helping them get back to flying in the sky, presenting a charming chronicle of the two species’ coexistence. The film also subtly addresses some acute social issues such as growing islamophobia and alarming air pollution levels. This poetic and meditative film about a bird sanctuary may truly be heralding the day when we realize that we shouldn’t differentiate between all that breathes, because we are all a community of air. Air that we’ve polluted to the point of endangering the survival of many living beings, including ourselves. Sen’s camera also avoids creating hierarchies between all that breathes – successfully granting dignity even to the abhorred city rodents and finding unusual beauty even in the sight of thousands of rats bathed in moonlight. This film is difficult to put into words – it should be watched. Watched in the cinema, as this is its real home. It is the only place where the film can get the attention it deserves and where its forceful cosmic dance can be experienced in full force. (DP)

All That Breathes is the first film to win both the Cannes Documentary Prize and  Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. It has also been nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for best documentary.

Awards and festivals:

Sundance Film Festival (2022) – Grand Jury Prize; Cannes Film Festival (2022) – Golden Eye for Best Documentary; BFI London Film Festival (2022) – Grierson Award; Dokufest (2022); Krakow Film Festival (2022); Oscar nomination for Best Documentary in 2022

Shaunak Sen is an Indian filmmaker, video artist and film scholar based in New Delhi. His first feature-length documentary film, Cities of Sleep (2016) was shown at many international film festivals (with its European premiere at DOK Leipzig), and won 6 documentary film awards. Sen has also received the following grants and scholarships: the Films Division of India Fellowship (2013), the Sarai CSDS Digital Media fellowship (2014), the Charles Wallace Grant, the IDFA Bertha Fund (2019), Sundance Documentary Grant (2019), Catapult Film Fund (2020) and Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund (2020). His second feature film, All That Breathes (2022) is one of the best documentary films of 2022, having won prizes at Sundance and Cannes, as well as being nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA in the category Best Documentary.