Parents' Guide to

All That Breathes

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Bird docu shows effects of climate change; some language.

Movie NR 2023 97 minutes
All That Breathes movie poster: A young Indian man stares closely at a black kite bird

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This Oscar-nominated documentary is a thoughtful and layered meditation on a remarkable slice of modern life. All That Breathes might revolve around two brothers and their dedication to caring for the ailing black kite population of their New Delhi home, but in reality it is about much more than that. Director Shaunak Sen captures not only a passion that drives his subjects to do something admirable, but also the predicament that makes the brothers' lives unique. Environmental change and neglect cause them to contend with flooding, disintegrating infrastructure, and polluted air, which affect their home lives as well as the birds'. Meanwhile, they must be both patient and persistent in their attempts to bolster their Wildlife Rescue clinic with a government grant.

Threaded through the main narrative we get glimpses of the sectarian tensions that blight modern India and cause additional anxiety. But, wisely, All That Breathes avoids trying to lean heavily on metaphors or push an agenda. Instead it does what all good documentaries do, and asks its audience to look inward to see the world through different eyes.

Movie Details

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