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'Everything That Breathes' Is One of the Most Fascinating Movies of the Year

We get it – it’s just too much. So this year, we’re giving our editors a last-minute chance to fill in what might have been missed. Check out everything you should really be reading, watching or listening to – plus more of our review coverage from this year – here.

Another great year for documentaries – Navalny, Fire of Love , All the Beauty and Bleeding , to name a few of my favourites. In fact, there’s so much nonfiction filmmaking out there — especially on streaming services, where multi-part documentary series seem to proliferate like mushrooms — that it’s easy to miss something special. An overlooked gem for me is All That Breathes by New Delhi-based filmmaker Shaunak Sen. It came out in late October and is still playing as I write this on very select screens (with HBO Max release 2023), All That Breathes is a riveting, haunting tale of many things: wilderness, urban squalor, intimacy, loyalty, entropy, and heartbreak.

Set in a small New Delhi wildlife clinic run by two brothers who devote themselves to caring for the black kite – a carnivorous bird of prey that hovers above the bustling city – it quickly becomes Insistence on humanity and the blurred lines between civilization and barbarism. If this sounds exciting, dive in: All That Breathes is a visually stunning document of a megalopolis on the brink of chaos, and A heartrending account of two men tirelessly battling against odds. Nadeem and Mohammed (along with their hilarious sidekick/assistant Salik) face more and more sick birds as Delhi’s air quality worsens Fit for life — not to mention the rise and fall funding for their operations and poignant episodes of Clash of Brothers. And the birds themselves are miraculously strange: savage and vulnerable, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. With patient, haunting wildlife sequences that persist amidst the toxicity of modern life, Breathe Everything is one of the strangest and most haunting films of the year.




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