‘Breath Of Life’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Why Did Timi Sacrifice Himself?

Breath of Life, a heartwarming Nigerian film, chronicles the inspiring story of an exceptional man who, because of a tragic past, had given up on his life. Little did he know that, down the years, he would meet a man who would help him regain his faith in both God and life. As established earlier, Timi was an exceptional man, as stated by everyone who had the chance to meet him. Timi spoke 16 languages, believe it or not, four of which were extinct and weren’t spoken by anyone else on the planet. Timi’s definition of having fun meant rewriting holy books in different languages. Timi didn’t just graduate at the top of his class; he was also the most excellent candidate in the British Navy. In addition, Timi was the first African to become a clergyman in the Great Church of England. Moreover, he could also hold his breath longer than anyone on the planet. Timi’s record stood at 57 minutes, which he broke himself because he was bored.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Was Timi’s Family Killed?

Timi married Bridget, and the couple had a daughter together. Not long after their nuptials, Timi returned to his country and set up a church to serve his community. Timi wasn’t the highest clergyman, but he was the most respected, and people often asked for him by his name. Timi also once prayed for a princess who had specifically asked for him. Timi’s life was perfect and tranquil until tragedy struck, and his wife and kids were taken away from him. They were killed by the Baby Fire Gang, who rode on motorcycles and killed whoever they deemed a threat. Since everyone was scared of the gang, no one agreed to become a witness, but Timi, for the greater good, volunteered to make a statement. Bridget tried everything. She fought and begged Timi, but he couldn’t change his mind.


Timi identified Baby Fire in court, but the latter was freed because he was in cahoots with leftover colonials, who still enjoyed some power in the country. Timi noticed the desire for vengeance in Baby Fire’s eyes when he exited court. For his wife and daughter’s safety, Timi sent them to Lagos, but Baby Fire kidnapped and burned his family alive in front of Timi’s eyes. It’s said that Timi just lay at that place for nine days, without moving an inch and without food or water. Once he was done grieving, the first thing Timi did was abandon his faith and burn Baby Fire alive, like his family was burned. After that, Timi tried to kill himself but failed. He tried guns and poison but they still wouldn’t do any harm. This left him disgruntled, isolated, and bitter.

How Did Timi Change After Meeting Elijah?

Elijah was a young man who wished to renovate an old church and was thus in need of money. With no choice left, Elijah visited Timi’s estate for a job, a place no sane person would ever set foot. However, unlike others before him, Elijah was allowed to stay for reasons unknown. Elijah carried out his daily duties as a houseboy or house manager, whatever you would call it, with devotion. The only condition was that Elijah would never speak of God in Timi’s house. Elijah was an excellent cook, but Timi was always harsh on him. Timi often threw or spit out the breakfast, claiming it was salty or undercooked. One day, it took Elijah 16 attempts to learn how to make an omelet exactly the way his master wanted. However, Elijah never complained, as he knew very well about the pain Timi was in. Elijah often sat outside Timi’s room, trying to understand his pain, while the latter shed tears inside, missing his family.


Timi became furious when he learned that Elijah was a pastor and berated him in front of others. Fortunately, Elijah was allowed to both practice his faith and keep his job. A year passed, and with time, Timi’s anger boiled down, and he taught Elijah about both history and politics. Timi even allowed Elijah’s girlfriend, Anna, into his house. Elijah touched Timi’s heart even more when he fixed the projector, so Timi could watch the tapes he filmed with his family. The duo even took a road trip to buy a new projector, something that once seemed impossible. Timi even taught Elijah how to drive a car. Timi was the worst teacher ever and cursed and gently slapped Elijah like any father would. Timi and Elijah even shared a beer together and bonded like a father and son. Thanks to Elijah, Timi no longer sat alone in his room and found happiness again.

Why Didn’t Anna’s Father Approve Of Her Relationship With Elijah?

Elijah visited the local clinic for his asthma inhaler, and that’s where he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, Anna. Elijah fed the patients there so they could ask Anna to attend the Bible study at church. Elijah was so nervous that he had an asthma attack just from shaking her hand. Thankfully, Elijah had his inhaler with him. Anna adored Elijah’s innocence and his kind-hearted soul and immediately took a liking to him. Since their first meeting, they have seen each other every day for six months. Elijah used to iron his clothes multiple times before going to meet her. Elijah once wore formal clothes when they had planned to go for a swim in the river. However, Anna’s father, Chief Okonkwo, didn’t take a liking to their relationship. Chief Okonkwo was the same man who wanted to demolish the church building to make a hotel, while Elijah wanted to save it so people had a place to practice their faith. Chief Okonkwo said he would leave the building alone if Elijah paid him the 49 million Naira that he had paid to the state for the land.


Why Did Timi Sacrifice Himself?

Elijah squandered all his resources to raise donations to save the building, but nothing worked. Timi had the money to save the church, but after what had happened to his family, Timi would never agree to it. Timi was a wealthy man, and 49 million Naira was just a drop in the bucket for him. Elijah knew Timi under no circumstances would ever give money to save the church and thus didn’t ask for his help. The reason why Timi didn’t give Elijah the money was because there was no need, as the land didn’t originally belong to the state. He had his lawyer pull the necessary documents and save the church. Once the church was saved, Elijah claimed that God spoke to him and told him to stop his domestic service and follow his ministry permanently. Timi was furious to hear this, as he figured he would be all alone once Elijah had left. Unfortunately, the same night, Elijah suffered a seizure, and everyone learned that he would die if he didn’t get a lung transplant in a week, but given the long waiting list, it was next to impossible.

Timi spared no expense to find a donor, but it didn’t work, and eventually he realized what God had really planned for him. Maybe the reason God didn’t allow Timi to die that day was so he could save Elijah’s life, whom he had come to love as a son. As the Breath of Life neared its end, Timi legally adopted Elijah and willed all his wealth to him. In the end, Timi sacrificed his own life so his son could breathe through his lungs. The operation was a success, but Elijah couldn’t hold back his tears after he learned what had happened. However, the letter Timi had penned for him gave him peace and solace. In the letter, Timi appreciated Elijah’s help in saving his life and never gave up on him, regardless of the abuse he suffered. In the final minutes of Breath of Life, we see Timi following in the footsteps of his father. He married Anna and opened multiple orphanages for poor kids to honor his father’s memory. We also see him breaking Timi’s underwater breath-holding record. This scene was special as it suggested that no matter where he was, his father was always with him.

In Breath of Life, Timi and Elijah start off as master and servant. Thanks to Elijah’s kindness and warmth, Timi, once a broken man, found joy and closure. Before we could know, they bonded like a family, with Timi teaching Elijah, history, politics, and how to wear a necktie and Elijah helping Timi heal his emotional wounds. The story got intense when Elijah needed a lung transplant, and Timi, without a second thought, sacrificed his life to save him. Breath of Life was a heartwarming story of two friends who found family in each other, showing that sometimes the strongest bonds aren’t formed by blood but by love and sacrifice.

Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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