It’s easy to focus on what’s bad — ‘All That Breathes’ celebrates the good

John Powers on NPR:

In Anne Lamott’s book on writing, she tells a great story about facing tasks that seem overwhelming. Her 10-year-old brother was doing a big school project on birds, and as the deadline loomed, he became paralyzed by how much he still had to do. His father put his arm around him and gave him a piece of advice, “Bird by bird, buddy,” he told him. “Just take it bird by bird.”

This useful life lesson takes literal form in All That Breathes, a wonderful new documentary that arrives on HBO and HBO Max garlanded with international awards. Directed by Shaunak Sen — and ravishingly shot by Ben Bernhard — this inspiring film takes us inside the lives of two ordinary seeming Muslim brothers in Delhi who are actually extraordinary in their dedication to doing good in a city teetering on the edge of apocalypse.

The brothers are named Saud and Nadeem, the former friendly, the latter a little grumpy. Along with their somewhat comical sidekick, Salik, they devote themselves to a project they began as kids: protecting the bird of prey known as the black kite, a glorious, hovering creature widely detested as a scavenging nuisance. Day after day, ailing and injured kites arrive at their homemade infirmary where the trio nurses them until they’re able to fly back into the urban wild.

More here. (Note: An absolute MUST watch)