All That Breathes: Shaunak Sen’s Impressionistic Docu

Shaunak Sen’s impressionistic docu, All That Breathes, entails two Indian Muslim brothers dedicated to bird rescue, amidst other political concerns.

All That Breathes
Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Kiterabbit Films

All That Breathes, Shaunak Sen’s novel documentary, defies the conventional use of formal interviews, or omniscient narrator to provide information about Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, worse than Beijing.

Instead, the environmental impact is depicted by the story of two resident brothers dedicated to urban bird rescue.

They also worry about anti-Muslim policies that trigger waves of protest and violence.

Like Sen’s prior feature Cities of Sleep, which revealed the networks providing places of rest for Delhi’s homeless, All That Breathes is a compassionate portrait of individual resourcefulness over despair.

It’s a vivid, seemingly micro documentary with more serious macro concerns.

A highlight of the 2022 edition, the film won the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance’s World Documentary competition.