ALL THAT BREATHES is a beautiful, harsh, raw film nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category. It depicts the profound filth, pollution, and vile conditions in New Delhi, India, where two brothers are trying to make a difference by saving the black kite birds that are continually falling from of the sky. 

Nadeem and Mohammad are known as the “kite brothers.” Their work is driven by a love for birds which, along with the horses, rats, cows, dogs, cats, insects, and hogs, have had to live side by side with humans in an unsafe smog-filled environment. The landfills are some of the largest in the world. The air quality index can reach upwards of 700. It is unthinkable to watch what they do within the sewer-infested community. Yet they do. 

ALL THAT BREATHES is mesmerizing. It is a slow-paced, quiet film that is stunning and poignant in its portrait of this area. At times, the weight of trying to save these birds that did not ask for this life is beyond unbearable. It offers a profound, inside look at how cruel nature is and how honorable and devoted the brothers are to their cause. They indeed represent the best of humanity. 

The film also circles around the riots of religious conflicts that are prevalent in India. It touches on how certain humans can be compared to termites and rats. The kite brothers never stop. The brothers say the kites saved them more than the brothers saved the birds. It is truly a “community of air” and a must-see film. We cannot turn away. “Can you hear me?”

ALL THAT BREATHES is available to stream on HBO MAX. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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