Review: These New Delhi brothers heal ‘All That Breathes’ in extraordinary documentary
“I didn’t know this was even possible. I knew it’s an amazing story, but I didn’t know it could be the real thing,” says Kino-o, as she explains the true story behind her documentary.
“I’m a doctor. There’s a reason why I work so much with patients. So when I came back to India I started working with an Indian friend who was doing her dissertation on this particular story. We’d spent so many hours talking about this and I said, ‘You know, these documentaries are great. They do such an important job in telling these incredible stories. But I know what you’re going through as a family. You’ve lost four children. What’s happening?’ And then she showed me pictures of the babies. It was just so powerful to see what they had given to her,” says Kino Okegwo, who made “All That Breathes” with her best friend and brother Okeje. The documentary, set against the backdrop of the devastating 2010 earthquake that devastated northern India, traces the story of the two families as they attempt to heal. But in their search for answers they find that healing can’t be accomplished overnight.
Okeje, a renowned Nigerian documentary maker, says the story is so extraordinary the film is not simply based on the human side of the tragedy, but also the social side.
“It’s just a really incredible story and it’s not only about two families, but about these two families that are just trying to find a way to heal. You see some of the stories that are happening in India, the earthquake. But here is the other side of the story. The stories of these women and these babies are just about social movements as well. It’s a very very complex story,” he says.
‘I didn’t know it was even possible that I could make a documentary’
Okeje recalls one particular moment when he witnessed the strength of his friend Kino, who was suffering from postpartum depression.
“I’ll never forget. I wanted to be the doctor for her. I didn’t know it was even possible that I could make a documentary when I started with her. But I wanted to be the one to tell her story because I saw the strength that she had. She was