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
The eclipse shoot almost didn't made in to the final work. The crew went to Hawai and had their spot on a hotel rooftop, but almost an hour before the eclipse clouds moved in and immediately the sun disappeared. Everyone in the hotel tried to find a better location and only the film crew stayed after a huge discussion. Minutes from the eclipse the sky cleared for shooting and the final result is in the film. 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 »
'Baraka' is a work of art which rates amongst the greatest achievements in the field. As with any masterwork, it is something one will have to pursue. For those that seek it out at the proper time, 'Baraka' can act as a milestone of revelation. What the viewer takes from this film will solely be determined by the life experience they bring to it. 'Baraka' is unique in that it actually requires a commitment of time and concentration. This is a film that communicates its message without utilizing standard film language. Those that try to make the images conform to the conventional notions of Hollywood story telling are likely to give up in frustration. For a film with no plot,characters or dialog, it communicates an astonishing number of profound themes. Those who are familiar with National Geographic or the works of David Attenbourough will have little trouble in identifying the fascinating locals and tribes, but be forewarned: there are reasons that there are no subtitles or text on screen. Personal discovery is at the heart of the filmmaker's intentions. The ambient soundtrack by Michael Sterns weaves the images together on a separate plain, producing a hypnotic pathway for the images to flow. Once you allow yourself to be pulled along by this current of sound the images will link themselves together and the true revelations hidden within 'Baraka' will make themselves apparent. You may find as I did that your subconscious will be at work on 'Baraka' for many weeks after the experience, unlocking doors to a greater understanding.
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