DVD Review - Samsara (2011)

Samsara, 2011.

Directed by Ron Fricke.


Samsara casts a beautiful light on 25 countries and the stories and landscapes of each.

Nearing the first hour of Samsara director Ron Fricke shows us a series of assembly lines. Disturbing in some senses (the sheer monotony of the job or the slaughter of chickens, cows and pigs), they are also hypnotic sequences. They are followed with an ironic look at supermarket shopping and fast-food consumerism and subsequently by presentations on the body, surgery, air-dolls and then strippers. It highlights the structure of the documentary in its awareness of universal parallels. Furthermore, from shining a light on the minutiae of life, it implores you to look at the art of it.

In its entirety, Samsara is a glorified screensaver (by no means a negative) – a series of moving pictures that are they purely to be looked at. If cinema is based on the notion of watching,
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