All That Breathes

  • Shaunak Sen
  • India, United Kingdom, United States
  • 2022
  • 94 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

Some days, the black kites literally drop from the sky—the air pollution in Delhi, India, can be so intense that flocks of the birds fall to earth. If they’re lucky, they’ll find themselves in the care of Nadeem and Saud, two heroic brothers who are concerned about the animals’ welfare. They’ve set up an improvised sanctuary for birds of prey.

“Delhi is a gaping wound, and we are a tiny Band Aid on it,” comments one of them, accurately reflecting everything we see in All That Breathes. This winner of the Sundance Documentary Jury Prize is also a portrait of a city on the brink of the abyss, and how life finds a way to go on here. We watch as a snail glides serenely by a street bonfire, and dogs roam about the vast heaps of waste.

There is no false optimism here. The brothers are sometimes downcast about the pointlessness of their efforts, but doing nothing is not an option. Against the backdrop of growing tensions that make the situation increasingly desperate—particularly for the Muslim minority to which the brothers belong—there is hope to be had from the simple fact that there are people who do care.


  • 94 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Hindi
  • Subtitles in: English
Shaunak Sen
Aman Mann for KiteRabbit Films, Teddy Leifer for Rise Films, Shaunak Sen for KiteRabbit Films
Executive producer
Sean Carroll for Tangled Bank Studios, David Elisco for Tangled Bank Studios
Florrie Priest for Rise Films
Ben Bernhard, Riju Das, Saumyananda Sahi

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests
Supported with €4600 for Classic: Development
IDFA Project Space: Development & Production
Extra Project

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies