All That Breathes

Where I Watched It: HBo MAX

English Audio Description?: Yes

Narrated By: Melissa Etselberg

The second Oscar nominee this year for Documentary feature that I’ve seen, and yet another one I find to be overrated. Granted, i really believe people got caught up in the cool volcano footage from Fire Of Love, like an IMAX film from back in the day. Here, I’m assuming the footage of the kites are what captivate, because otherwise, this was just very average.

This doc centers around two brothers in india who rescue kites. I didn’t know what a kite was, but it is apparently a bird of prey. That’s a term the film should use more, because there’s some dumb moment where they talk about how a bird rescue didn’t take the injured kite they first found because it wasn’t a vegetarian. No birds are vegetarians. I know we get confused by our home birds, domesticated and such, like our dogs and cats, they all eat processed pet store crap. Throw a worm in there with your canary and see what happens.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about kites… this is your film. I do like to learn things, so I can’t say this was a waste of time. it opened me up to a topic I was totally unfamiliar with, and now I know more than I did. It’s just that I’ve seen at least ten other documentaries this year that I thought were better made, tackled a topic I was more interested in, and had more to say. LAst year, we had a fucking great crop of documentary nominees, with Flee, Summer Of Soul, and Attica still in my mind.

This? I won’t remember this five years from now. The audio description has the hard task of balancing the traditional form versus the artistic interpretation this film is clearly going for, as it captures the beauty of these creatures. I don’t think the audio description quite manages to fully bring us in on how majestic these birds are, which is part of the reason I might be a little perplexed about the love for this film. Perhaps, they didn’t know where the magic was either.

It’s Oscar nominated, so it will have more eyes on it than usual, but I hope it doesn’t win, and I would rather see a better documentary there in its place like The Janes or Tree Of Life, two documentary features that have a sense of urgency in 2022. This? There’s nothing urgent here.

Final Grade: C

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