Award-winning movie shines gentle on chook rehabbers

Chook rehabilitators in India’s capital metropolis, New Delhi, are the topic of a movie that’s the first ever to win the documentary prize at each the Cannes and Sundance movie festivals. The 90-minute movie opens at this time, October 21, in New York Metropolis, and it is going to be launched in a number of different cities in the USA and Canada over the subsequent month or so. It will likely be out there on HBO and HBO Max someday in 2023.

All That Breathes is the story of two brothers, Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud, who run a chook clinic of their basement. They battle with a scarcity of funds, with the seemingly fixed stream of birds which might be delivered to them, and with the guilt of not having sufficient time for household.

Regardless of their challenges, we by no means doubt that Nadeem and Mohammad and their volunteer assistant Salik are dedicated to rescuing as many birds as attainable. Most of their sufferers are Black Kites — raptors with an unlimited vary all through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. We additionally see them caring for different birds of prey and vultures.

We study that Nadeem and Mohammad’s late mom had a saying: “One shouldn’t differentiate between all that breathes.” Her philosophy impressed them to start caring for birds about 20 years in the past and continues to the current day. It’s additionally obvious that her philosophy impressed the movie’s director, Shaunak Sen, not solely with the movie’s title but additionally with its visually beautiful cinematography. New Delhi is a metropolis of greater than 32 million folks, and but Sen reveals quite a lot of wildlife within the metropolis, together with flocks of birds, a turtle, and a tremendous opening shot that I received’t spoil.

At one level, one of many brothers laments the truth that they’ve so many winged sufferers. “Lots of of birds falling out of the sky day-after-day. What amazes is folks go on as if every little thing’s regular.”

The movie’s narrative implies that New Delhi’s polluted air causes so many birds to “fall out of the sky.” And the critiques that I’ve learn of All That Breathes appear to agree that air pollution is the primary problem, which is smart, as a result of New Delhi is likely one of the world’s most polluted cities.

Nevertheless, in February 2020, The New York Instances revealed an article concerning the brothers beneath the headline “Meet the Chook Medics of New Delhi.” The author, Oliver Whang, explains that folks fly kites made with manja – “cotton thread coated with colourful layers of crushed glass.”

“Manja is commonly used to fly paper kites, a well-liked pastime in India, one which grew to become an emblem of nationwide pleasure in New Delhi after the nation gained independence from Britain in 1947,” Whang explains. “On clear days, particularly after monsoon season, when the town’s rooftops are dotted with folks, kites speckle the sky, their threads forming an invisible cat’s cradle overhead.” One shot within the movie briefly reveals this launch of kites from rooftops.

Sadly, annually, hundreds of birds’ wings are slashed by the glass in manja. Within the movie, Nadeem, Mohammad, and Salik deal with raptors with bodily accidents, presumably attributable to encounters with manja. I used to be stunned that this wasn’t defined within the movie, however nonetheless, I completely felt the dismay at folks going about their lives “as if every little thing’s regular” after we people are inflicting so many environmental calamities world wide.

Whether or not birds are harmed by manja, polluted air, free-roaming cats, glass home windows, pesticides, overfishing, oil spills, international warming, or another variety of causes, the threats just about all originate within the human need for extra. Most individuals don’t acknowledge or care to see what is occurring, however those that work in wildlife rehabilitation see the results of our folly day-after-day. 

I’m ecstatic that this movie will give audiences far and huge a glimpse into the world of chook rehabbers, who’re true heroes irrespective of the place on the earth they work. And it’s great that the judges at Sundance and Cannes noticed one thing extraordinary in All That Breathes.

One Sundance juror wrote: “This poetic movie delivers an pressing political story whereas setting up a singular and loving portrait of protagonists resisting seemingly inevitable ecological catastrophe – with humorous touches punctuated by unsentimental depiction of the animal kingdom.”

And in awarding the L’Œil d’or (Golden Eye), the highest prize for documentary movies at Cannes, the jury stated:

“The Golden Eye goes to a movie that, in a world of destruction, reminds us that each life issues, and each small motion issues. You’ll be able to seize your digital camera, it can save you a chook, you possibly can hunt for some moments of stealing magnificence, it issues. It’s an inspirational journey in statement of three Don Quixotes who might not save the entire world however do save their world.”

Watch the trailer for ‘All That Breathes’


Upcoming releases for ‘All That Breathes’

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