A still from Oscars 2023 nominated documentary All That Breathes.
Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes was nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Oscars 2023. The film was India’s third title to be nominated this year.
Oscars 2023: All That Breathes, by Shaunak Sen, lost the 95th Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film. The Indian documentary lost the award to Navalny. Also nominated in the category were All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, and A House Made of Splinters. This is one of India’s three nominations this year at the Oscars, with RRR’s Naatu Naatu nominated for Best Original Song and The Elephant Whisperers bagging Best Documentary Short Film nod.
Set in Delhi, All That Breathes is a riveting portrayal of two brothers trying to save a majestic black kite amid the casualties of birds falling from the sky in the middle of social chaos and unrest. Under Shaunak Sen’s visionary mind and Ben Bernhard, Riju Das and Saumyananda Sahi’s captivating cinematography, the film surely gave a tough fight to all the nominees.
During an exclusive chat with News18 Showsha following the nomination announcement, Shaunak Sen said, “When one strips it down to that kind of a logline it presents like an anemic and inaccurate sort of representation, it is a difficult film to present in a single logline. I always think it is better to talk about it as a kind of broader, ecological philosophical, emotional, and socio-political investigation of the relationship between one family and one bird called the black kite. It is in that relationship that we tell the story of Delhi itself.”
“In terms of control of the characters, in creative non-fiction, your basis is observational where life itself unfolds and you are there to shoot it and we shot for three full years so we had a mountain of footage and to cut out 90 minutes from it was very difficult. Having said that, it is not like a traditional, conventional, vérité observational documentary, there is a creative treatment of actuality and we have used poetic, lyrical styles to push some of our ideas. At the heart of it is a kind of radical embrace of the unscriptedness of the world but at the same time there is also a creative treatment of things. In a way the treatment is creative but at the end of the day, we were turning up every day and shooting one family for three consecutive years,” he added.
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