After years of anticipation Samsara, the sequel to the movie Baraka, has been released. Samsara is a meditation on the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, to which life in the material world is bound.
In Sanskrit, “Samsara” literally translates to “a passing through, from sam altogether + sarati it runs”. Samsara is a journey through life, and the film provides a confronting snapshot of life, Earth, humanity, and the cycles we are a part of.
Directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson, Samsara features exquisite cinematography filmed on 70mm film camera with with motion control time-lapse transformed into HD digital. Prepare to be blown away…
Here’s a preview:
It is filmed in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Palestine, Japan, Jordan, Myanmar, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, Brazil and the United States.
Samsara interlaces reality and illusion: human robots that look real, human geishas that look fake. Religions, culture, counter-cultures, spirituality, science, natural disasters and its glorious wonders.
We see a rotation birth and death and rebirth: of buildings torn apart by disasters in contrast with impeccable stained glass of a majestic church; of volcanoes and glaciers; of assembly line construction and their endlessly expansive disposal; of the systematic birth, milking and slaughter of cows (and devoured by obese Americans scoffing Big Macs); of weapons and bullets, prison dances, geometric patterns of mass-scale martial arts; of the sun’s rise, fall and rise the next day. A mixture of the beautiful and ugly cycles of the material world in which we live.
The film ends a little suddenly, I felt there was more to see of this journey. And I felt left, surprisingly, without any kind of strong message. The feeling emanated the experience of being – a feeling I took to be: “That’s all folks.”
Life is good and bad; humans are good and bad; Earth and the Universe contain good and bad. Creation requires destruction. The death of all things is inevitable, and a necessary condition for birth. We are all a part of this process. One must accept it, and then, if one likes, play with it.
That’s definitely what Fricke and Magidson have done, and what a confronting, inspiring and illuminating result!
If you haven’t seen Samsara, get to the cinema before it’s finished. And if you haven’t seen Baraka, make sure you see that too: