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Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.
Balinese Tari Legong Dancers,
Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi,
Puti Sri Candra Dewi
First of all I am relieved that a movie on this subject has been produced with such a high budget. It's about time someone really tried to sum up what the human condition is, and the relationship between our condition and the condition of our planet.
The visuals for 'Home' are for the most part near perfect- pinpointing the beauties and miracles of this world, whilst also the disgraces and disasters with a total sensitivity and respect for all sides of the issue. The subjects covered are well chosen and diverse, and you really get perspective on how widespread and potentially devastating our manipulation of the natural world has become.
Unfortunately though, what slightly let this movie down for me was its 'matter of fact' approach, and a lack of attention to some important details. In some ways this film avoids a one-sided approach, with interesting stats showing how our attempts at alternative fuels have their own negative effects, but for the first section particularly it felt like some very dated notes on the history of the earth. We know some amazing things about the history of our planet but it's important to recognise that there is far more that we don't. I for one stand firmly on the side of science that can admit to not knowing. The most blatant error, as picked up by IMDb in the 'goofs' section, is the narration that the first towns appeared 600 years ago- how could you get that wrong!!? Apparently they meant to say 6000 years ago, but even this isn't fact as there is evidence of towns up to over 8000 years ago. On top of this it is continually stated that human beings have been around for 200'000 years, a theory that has been far from proved and therefore should be treated as such. I think that in a film that is trying to be scientifically credible, in this case vague/speculative language would possibly be more accurate. At least they managed to avoid a '2001: A Space Odyssey' style chimpanzee scene! Scientific stuff aside though, the most inexcusable error is that in the fairly small amount of on screen text there are numerous spelling mistakes. In most cases that doesn't bother me, but in a high budget film production it does, and it certainly doesn't help the reputation of the Eco-warriors (hippies come to mind!)
After watching this movie though, I'll admit that I had mostly forgotten the flaws because it really forces you to think about the issues. This is a good thing, and for the most part it is done with beauty, sensitivity and grace, which is why I've given it such a high rating. Watch this movie- the cinematography and well crafted narrative will open your eyes to the fragile state of our planet and cause you to appreciate your place in it more. Just don't be a sucker for the slightly anti-human philosophy.
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