india anything that breathes followed up its victory at the Sundance Film Festival by taking home top documentary honors at Cannes.
The Shaunak Sen-directed film, which documents a pair of Muslim brothers in Delhi who devote countless hours to restoring sick black kite birds to health, won the Golden Eye award. ) in a ceremony on Saturday.
“From their makeshift bird hospital in their tiny basement, the ‘kite brothers’ care for thousands of these hypnotic creatures that fall daily from the smog-choked skies of New Delhi,” notes a description of the documentary. “As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between this Muslim family and the neglected kite forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and rising social tensions.”
The Golden Eye jury, chaired by filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, hailed anything that breathes for reminding us that every life matters and every little action matters. You can grab your camera, you can save a bird, you can chase beauty flight moments, this is important. It is an inspiring journey in observing three Don Quixote who may not save the whole world but save their world.
Ukrainian filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk (The Earth is blue like an orange), French actor Pierre Deladonchamps, journalist Alex Vicente and Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Falah. The jury awarded a special prize to Mariupolis 2, a documentary centered on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed by Russian military forces in Ukraine in April while filming his film. His fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova, completed the film after his death.
“Our special prize,” wrote the jury in a citation, “goes to the film impossible to compare with any other in the competition – to the very radical, courageous, artistic and existential statement Mariupolis 2.”
The L’Œil d’or prize was created in 2015 by LaScam, a French association of writers, directors, translators, photographers and others working in documentary media. It comes with a prize of 5,000 euros. Previous winners of the award include Faces Places (2017) and for sama (2019), both of which earned Oscar nominations.
anything that breathes will hit theaters in the fall. HBO Documentary Films acquired the global television distribution title just as Cannes was getting started; it will premiere on HBO and its sister streaming platform HBO Max in 2023. In January of this year, anything that breathes won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It was also screened at the DocAviv Film Festival in Tel Aviv and the Krakow Film Festival in Poland.
The brothers Mohammed Saud and Nadeem Shahzadas, the stars of anything that breathes, have rehabilitated 20,000 black kites over the years. The birds suffer from Delhi’s intense pollution and face other dangers as they try to survive in the metropolis. As birds of prey, they are meat eaters, which may earn them the scorn of Hindus in India, most of whom are vegetarians. The Muslim Brotherhood does not oppose the carnivorous diet of birds; in fact, they spend an enormous amount of time grinding meat to feed the birds.
A moment of poetic narration in the film observes: “It is said that feeding the kites earns ‘sawab’ (religious credit). When they eat the meat, they gnaw at your difficulties.
This is the second consecutive victory for L’Œil d’or for an Indian documentary. A night without knowing anything, directed by Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia, won last year. Another indication of the vigor of Indian documentary, write with firea film by Indian directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh focusing on female journalists from India’s Dalit caste, was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year.