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
Without words, cameras show us the world, with an emphasis not on "where," but on "what's there." It begins with morning, natural landscapes and people at prayer: volcanoes, water falls, veldts, and forests; several hundred Balinese Hindu men perform kecak, the monkey chant. Indigenous peoples apply body paint; whole villages dance. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip mining. Images of poverty, rapid urban life, and factories give way to war, concentration camps, and mass graves. Ancient ruins come into view, and then a sacred river where pilgrims bathe and funeral pyres burn. Prayer and nature return. A monk rings a huge bell; stars wheel across the sky.Written by
Director Ron Fricke invented a special time lapse camera just to make this film as he found the IMAX cameras too cumbersome. See more »
In the closing credits where filming locations are listed by country, Vatican City is listed as a location in Italy when technically it is a country in its own right. Although Vatican City is physically totally contained within Italy, it is an independent nation. See more »
When I first experienced (that's the most striking word for it) this movie at the Gothenburg Film Festival 1994, I was truly amazed. Never before - or since - have I had such an over all explain-it-all feeling after a show.
Ron Fricke has made a documentary about the World today for a day: starting at dawn with monkeys in hot springs in Japan, and the morning rituals of various religions. This is followed by the awakening of the human race, both in the big cities and on the country side. Brilliantly edited together follows every aspect of human daily life combined with the general changes of the planet itself and all the ecological systems upon it.
The over all glue of the story are the various religious rituals. Maybe this is my personal interpretation, being a teacher of Religion, but the only time giver, except for the turning of the sun, are the praying times and times of worship peoples practice around the globe.
My comparison of the film to the GAIA idea (that the Earth as a whole being a unit, a living organism) is detectable both in the way every different cultures shown are found to be very similar to one another, as well as the speeded up people at side walks and zebra crossings look very much like the stream of blood in the veins of an organism.
All in all this is a marvellous movie pointing out both the uniqueness of the individual and the unity with all people. Go see it - now!
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