Ashes and Snow (2005) Poster

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Beautiful, Simple, Moving
Gerardo A. Lopez30 March 2006
An impressive show of unique talent! A warm and poetic delight for the senses! Nothing but a simple taste of what luxury is on The Creator's eyes, captured by the genius of a higher human. An Astonishing audiovisual achievement, impeccable production, in less words a breathtaking piece of art.

The faunistic travel through "beyond description" locations and the interaction between "talents" show the real beauty of nature and how art on every form is only, how the human race understands the world. Interesting to see how the most common state of every human on the film is "rest" for either the soul or the body.

Watching it over and over just gives the spectator a better idea of the complexity linked to making film a real form of art.

Ashes to Snow is an Exceptional work of Photography, Ligthning and Post Production. Feather to Fire, Fire to Blood, Blood to Bone, Bone to Marrow, Marrow to Ashes, Ashes to Snow...
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Amazing on so many levels
ed2oh922 January 2008
I went to the opening of the Ashes & Snow exhibit when it arrived in Santa Monica, Ca. As the Nomadic Museum was being assembled (basically large cargo containers stacked upon one another), my friends and I thought it was going to be some sort of Cirgue De Soleil spin off, since that's what had been set up in the same spot the years before. We couldn't have been more wrong.

Just before the show opened, someone told me about the website ( I was amazed by what I saw and couldn't wait for the show's opening. When the day finally came, I was mesmerized by each image as it hung in the immense gallery, which I think was designed to give you the sense of walking among elephants. Some of the images are so bold though, with the interaction between man and animal, that you start to believe that they were digitally manipulated. Then I walked into the center section of the gallery and saw the film. It was just as awe inspiring as the images and left no doubt that each image was captured as it the scenes were choreographed.

Being a photographer myself, I can say that the exposures, the compositions, the cinematography, the moods created, the toning, etc, were all absolutely perfect. I've been shooting for years and know how difficult it is to get EVERYTHING to work in coordination to create a memorable image. It's hard enough to get it all to work together in a controlled environment, but Gregory Colbert shot the majority of the images with animals. On top of that, he shot underwater, with whales, elephants and manatees, creating some of the most unique images I've ever seen.

Beyond the technical aspect of the film though is the incredible harmony that you see between man and animal. For one reader to suggest that the animals were "in distress" is absolutely ludicrous. You don't see that here. You also don't see animals that resemble circus creatures that have been beaten into submission. Instead, what you see is humans that live in peace with the animals from their native land. You see an incredible respect for the animals and a gentleness that put the animals at ease. It's a thing of beauty.

Deeper still is the message behind the film and the images. Both Laurence Fishburne and Ken Wantanabbe have the perfect voice to narrate Colbert's story of a man who left all that he knew, in order to find himself in distant lands. The revelations that he discovers along the way are what we get to see in the images that were produced. Watch the film, listen to the words, and then watch the film again, and again, and again. In it, you'll see a man's dreams, visions, heart break and redemption. You'll see the journey he took and the worlds that he saw, not only on the outside, but inwardly as well. You'll hear his message of love and see that ultimately, the film is not about animals at all...but instead about us.

It is a masterpiece, and it is an experience.
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A Beautiful Picture Poem
Kaloyan Nedelchev28 January 2007
Ashes and Snow is a poem of spectacular images. It's a tale, a legend. It's a movie about the human beings and their being, about the returning to Eden, about the beauty of remembrance.The pictures tell a story about being free. The text behind - tells a poetry.

It's a slow moving film shoot with hi-speed camera. Wide lenses. Ahromatic. With imposing composition. Perfectly choreographed. Lots of underwater shooting.There is a dictors voice, a Laurence Fishburne's voice, who have done it well. We can say - it's near to movies like Baraka, Chronos, Koyannisqatsi, Powaqatsi, Genesis...

This Documentarie is like photo album of human imagination and desire. I hope Gregory Colbert will reach another peak with his second movie.

And of course - music by Lisa Gerrard!
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The world as i'd like it to be
mohamed elemam12 November 2007
What a piece of Art! a real masterpiece. That was the first thing i said after watching this film, i even paused a lot of times just to enjoy the beauty of the shot in front of me. To me; it's a film about life or the world as i would like it to be, it really takes you away from all the chaos, the traffic, the rush and all what's forming our modern life as we know it, and puts you in a piece of heaven, giving u an insight on how humans can live bound to other creatures in harmony, real harmony and how it really feels like to be free and really enjoying the beauty of this world. i so can't wait to see Gregory Colbert's new film.
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Spellbing Film, beautiful journey, recommend to everyone!
cl77731 January 2010
I had the privilege of visiting Gregory Colbert's Parisian studio this weekend and fell in love with his magnificent, oversize sepia images of people and children interacting, sitting, dancing, or swimming with Asian elephants, eagles, manatees, cheetahs, whales and more. I had seen his 2005 exhibit, "Ashes and Snow", in New York City and still have one of its posters hanging above my bed. I wanted to watch the film of the same name in its entirety and was spellbound.

For those who are not familiar with Gregory Colbert, he is a Canadian born photographer and film-maker, who traveled on expeditions to India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and many more to document the incredible interactions between humans and animals. He exposes his work only in immense "nomadic" structures. Ashes and Snow attracted over 10 million visitors in NYC, Santa Monica, Tokyo and Mexico City, making it the most attended exhibition by a living artist in history. Colbert's Nomadic Museum continues its global journey indefinitely and has no final destination.

The movie, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, is stunning to say the very least. It is angelic, gentle and mesmerizing. Mostly silent, a simple, enchanting music plays in the background. From time to time a poem is read, telling the fictional tale of a husband writing 365 letters to his wife. The poems themselves are wonderful and divine, perfectly fitting into this symphony of sights and sounds and of perfect harmony between living beings. There are scenes of utmost beauty and precision that sent me into a dream-like state.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in art, photography or cinematography or simply to anybody who loves animals and wants to see something truly beautiful and unique. It can also be left on in the background and be watched over and over again for the striking, almost sacred allure of its images.

Gregory's next appointment is with the penguins and icebergs of Antarctica and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us.

My rating: 8.5 Fabio's: 6 Total score: 14.5 For more movie reviews, please visit
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Brienne Walsh3 December 2008
I first saw this film in New York, at the Nomadic Museum. I remember walking down the long hallway of the museum, curious to see what was at the end, where a group of people had gathered. Even though the movie lasted for almost 60 minutes, I stood in a crowd two times to watch it. I didn't even notice that I had been standing for so long! This is a film about love, about passion, and about kindness. Every time I watch it, I think of all of the people and places that I have felt a fondness for in my life. I think of my first love, my first kiss. I remember all of the most precious moments in my life.

I highly recommend this movie to everyone. I promise that you will be crying within five minutes of seeing the film.
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sweetpeariri4 December 2008
As a huge animal lover and animal rights activist, I was mesmerized by Gregory Colbert's work in Ashes and Snow. I first saw the exhibit in New York, where I live. I have since then traveled to see it in both Santa Monica and Mexico City. As I await it's next stop, I return to Mr. Colbert's vision through his film, Ashes and Snow.

He is a true visionary and prophet to the animal community. Every time I watch the film, my heart fills with joy and pride at the world that Gregory Colbert has captured in which animals and human coexist as partners and equals.

I would recommend Ashes and Snow to anyone with a dream in which all of the world's species live in perfect harmony.
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The Brown Stillness
andrei-kivu7 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
First let's state clearly that this is not a movie, neither a documentary. It's photography barely moving. I cannot give a not passing grade to this movie because it IS beautiful. However, it greatly lacks is pace and variation and many other aspects. The opening scene will leave you breathless with your eyes wide open, unfortunately it doesn’t change much throughout the movie. The narrator states emphatically at the beginning of the movie "if you follow me" meaning if you watch this movie "your seconds will become hours, your hours will become days". Well, I can't say he didn't speak the truth: the hour I spent watching this movie did feel a little like a day. The chocolaty sepia is at times beautiful, at times boring. I couldn't help thinking all throughout the movie how they tortured the poor beasts to get the admittedly beautiful imagery. To make the redundancy complete, some scenes are played more than once. The narrated text is some seemingly deeply meaningful mambo-jambo, spliced with corniness and unbearable pretentiousness. A sample of this corniness would be when the narrator says something like "at the beginning of time the sky was full of flying elephants and now they sleep in the sky with one eyed open to keep watch over us and the stars we see are their eyes" - come on! If you saw the episode in Southpark where some kids make a show called "Close-Up Animals with a Wide Angle Lens Wearing Hats", then this movie could easily be called "sepia images in slow motion of people barely clothed dancing around with elephants and other wild beasts, on Buddha-bar-like music".
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A beautiful, life-changing film
ThomasBG4 December 2008
What a stunning piece of art. As a filmmaker myself, I truly admire the technique involved in making Ashes and Snow. The composition is perfect. I love how it is edited slowly, rather than rapidly, so that viewers feel like they are entering into a transitional space. I think that Colbert is a visionary, and his work will be admired into the future.

The film is an awe-inspiring study of the relationships between humans and animals. It is a perfect escape from my normal life and routine. It's like escaping to a world that I can otherwise only visit in my dreams. Every time I have a slow moment at work, I watch clips from the film.

I highly recommend Ashes and Snow to everyone. For every holiday and birthday, I give it as a gift to my friends. It is truly a masterpiece.
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Ashes and Snow A Film Celebrating Time and Space
maryatvan10 October 2008
Ashes and Snow is a love letter to his beloved written on a film that unfolds a legacy of beauty in timeless moments. The photography and underwater filming demonstrates the excellence of the arts and craft at work and artist is both Nature and co-existent man. The poetic wall of sound and song blending in the pictorial landscape slows time making it stand still as the motion becomes e-motion. Gregory Colbert has created a work of art in the truest sense of the word. There is an earnestness in the quiet voice reaching out to stop the clock to somehow hold time as he presents the gift of his soul's eye. He asks her to burn the letters upon the snow and read the song upon his heart. Oh that each of us/those viewing would have an abiding love to create such a masterpiece.
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