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‘Invisible Demons’ Trailer: Climate Change Documentary Zeroes In On Broiling Delhi, Where Growing Crisis Threatens Millions

EXCLUSIVE: Delhi, India is heading into a warm weekend, with temperatures expected to hit 93 F on Saturday, rising to 96 F on Sunday. Still, that’s nothing compared to a record-breaking heatwave that hit in mid-May, when the temperature exceeded 120 F (49.2 C).

That suffocating heat has been attributed to climate change, a growing threat globally, but particularly acute in Delhi, one of the world’s most populous and most polluted cities. That’s the setting of Rahul Jain’s new documentary Invisible Demons, a MUBI release that will open theatrically in New York next Friday (September 23), timed to Climate Week. It will become available to stream exclusively on MUBI beginning October 4.

“Told through striking images and eye-opening accounts from everyday citizens, Invisible Demons delivers a visceral and immersive journey through the stories of just a few of Delhi’s 30 million inhabitants fighting to survive,” a synopsis of the film reads. “Invisible Demons offers a deeply experiential and new perspective on its subject: the clear and present climate reality. Jain engages the senses by directly stimulating our desire to live in a world with equitable access to clean air and water. Is it possible to imagine this future in Delhi, in India, or anywhere in the modern world?”

It’s the second film from Jain, a Delhi native who explored grueling factory conditions in Gujarat, India in his debut documentary, Machines (2016). Invisible Demons premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and has become only more time in the brief intervening period. The documentary emerged from Jain’s meditations on the visual representation of the Anthropocene, the current geological epoch marked by radical human impact on the environment.

“I wanted to explore how artists in the last hundred years of filmmaking have been able to communicate our species’ relationship to the natural world, because the most drastic changes came about in the 20th century, which was also the century of cinema,” Jain explained. “I wanted to investigate whether my theories about this could be made into a film.”

Invisible Demons is presented by Participant, A Toinen Katse and Ma.Ja.De. Film Production. The film won two Jussi Awards, Finland’s equivalent of the Oscars and has been nominated for numerous other awards, including the Golden Eye (l’Oeil d’or) at Cannes, and Best Documentary at the Athens and Zurich film festivals.

Invisible Demons was produced by Iikka Vehkalahti and Heino Deckert and executive produced by Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann; and Frank Lehmann. It was one of the last project’s Weyermann worked on before her passing almost a year ago from cancer. In an interview after the film’s completion, Weyermann spoke about her admiration for the documentary and its director.

“We’re all connected and issues such as the state of our planet, climate change, is affecting everybody,” she said. “And whether the story is an Indian story or a U.S. story or an African’s story, that’s the beauty of filmmaking, and these connections that artists make, that we can relate to a story in a very personal way, even if it’s in a place and circumstances that we’ve never experienced. It transcends that. I really believe that Rahul’s film achieved that transcendence.”

Watch the exclusive trailer above, which features stirring imagery of a city in crisis.

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