Sat, Jun 15, 2024    
7:00 pm-10:00 pm


Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely
101 Leggett Road, Stone Ridge, New York

Event Type

An immersive documentary about two brothers in New Delhi who create a makeshift bird hospital in their tiny basement to care for kite birds harmed by the crowded city’s deadly pollutants.

“A soaring visual masterpiece,” critic Josh Flanders writes in the Chicago Reader.

“A portrait of incredible grace amidst an overwhelming tragedy,” Anupama Chopra writes in India’s Film Companion review.

“A subtle, haunting reflection on the meaning of humanity — on the breathtaking kindness and heartbreaking cruelty that define our wounded, intrepid, predatory species,” A.O. Scott writes in The New York Times.

Shaunak Sen’s documentary focuses on Muslim brothers Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud, who set up a makeshift bird hospital in their tiny New Delhi basement to care for injured black kite birds, many harmed by humans and climate change.

A Muslim belief among some in South Asia holds that feeding kites can bring blessings.

The birds, related to hawks and eagles, are literally falling from the sky because New Delhi’s air is so smoggy.

The brothers do their bird-saving work in the face of a growing conflict between India’s Hindu nationalist government and the country’s large Muslim population.

Saud explains why he and Nadeem have made it their life’s work to care for the injured birds.

“You don’t care for things because they share the same country, religion or politics,” he says. “Life is kinship. We’re all a community of air.”

As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between these brothers and the neglected kites forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and rising social tensions.

The 2022 independent film earned 24 critic and festival awards, including the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema–Documentary honor and the Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Eye top-documentary prize.

The movie, in Hindi with English subtitles, runs 91 minutes and is not rated by the Motion Picture Association. Its trailer can be found on YouTube at

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.

Movies With Spirit screenings comply with all federal, state and local health and safety protocols, including those of the screening venues.

The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.

The films are screened in diverse places of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m., generally on the third Saturday of every month. Movies With Spirit has no religious affiliation.