day
» » Самсара (2011)

Самсара (2011) HD online

Самсара (2011) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary / Music
Original Title: Samsara
Director: Ron Fricke
Writers: Ron Fricke,Mark Magidson
Released: 2011
Budget: $4,000,000
Duration: 1h 42min
Video type: Movie
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.

Videos

Credited cast:
Balinese Tari Legong Dancers Balinese Tari Legong Dancers - Dancers: Indonesia
Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi - Dancer: Valinese Tari Legong Dancers, Indonesia
Puti Sri Candra Dewi Puti Sri Candra Dewi - Dancer: Valinese Tari Legong Dancers, Indonesia
Putu Dinda Pratika Putu Dinda Pratika - Dancer: Valinese Tari Legong Dancers, Indonesia
Marcos Luna Marcos Luna - Tattoo Daddy: USA
Hiroshi Ishiguro Hiroshi Ishiguro - Professor and Robot Clone: Japan (as Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro)
Olivier De Sagazan Olivier De Sagazan - Man At Desk: France
Ladyboys of Cascade Bar Ladyboys of Cascade Bar - Dancers: Thailand
Kikumaru Kikumaru - Geisha: Japan
Crisanto Neire Crisanto Neire - Lead Singer: Cebu Provincial Detenton Center, Philippines
Robert Henline Robert Henline - U>S> Army Veteran: USA (as Staff Sergeant Robert Henline)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tai Lihua Tai Lihua - Lead Dancer: 1000 Habds Goddess Dance, China (as Iai Lihua)
Collin Alfredo St. Dic Collin Alfredo St. Dic - Himself / Cyclist (as Collin St. Dic)

For several years the filmmakers attempted to secure permission to film in North Korea, but were ultimately denied access.

Samsara (a Sanskrit word literally meaning "continuous flow") is the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön and Jainism. In Sikhism this concept is slightly different and looks at our actions in the present and consequences in the present.

The first feature-length film since Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996) to be shot entirely on 65mm film.

According to the filmmakers, Michael Stearns (composer) created his original score for Samsara after the film had been "silently edited" by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson. This is different from their previous collaboration on Baraka (1992) where visuals were largely edited to a soundtrack.

The dancing prisoners, were actually dancing to different music than the one heard in the movie. Amongst other tunes, they were actually dancing to MC Hammer and Michael Jackson songs.



Reviews: [25]

  • avatar

    Ger

    I just saw a screening of Samsara at the TIFF, at the brilliant TIFF Lightbox theatre.

    Wow.

    A film that took 5 years to make and co-ordinate. Shot in Panarama 70mm, across 26 countries, needing major government and regulatory clearances, having to wait for certain seasons or lunar phases to get the light to hit the way director Fricke wanted...carefully strung together with a massive 7.1 surround sound design and music score from Michael Stearns, Marcello de Francisci, and Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance).

    The 70mm negative has been digitally scanned and oversampled at 8k resolution (much like the 'Baraka' Blu-ray); the TIFF Lightbox theatre installed a brand new Christie 4k projector (Christie Projection Systems rushed the projector before its release to the market specifically for this event) making it the first true 4k screening of it's kind.

    From sweeping landscapes to time-lapse sequences of the night sky and from exclusive looks into the processing of food to the consumption and effects it has on the human body, Samsara is nothing short of astounding. Modern technology, production lines, and human robotics are juxtaposed against a backdrop of deserts, garbage mounds as far as the eye can see, and traffic congestion in modern centres. The time-lapse footage is simply transcendent. In fact, I caught myself questioning the reality of some of the landscape vistas and night skyline montages...they looked so hyper-real that I thought they must have come from a CG lab somewhere. Simply astonishing. The richness, depth and clarity of colour and image achieved within the processes utilized gives birth to the most beautiful visual meditation that I have ever witnessed.

    As one film journalist noted, "That Samsara is instantly one of the most visually-stunning films in the history of cinema is reason enough to cherish it, but Fricke and co-editor Mark Magidson achieve truly profound juxtapositions, brimming with meaning and emotion. It sounds preposterous, but it's true: In 99 minutes, Samsara achieves something approaching a comprehensive portrait of the totality of human experience. If you're even remotely fond of being alive, Samsara is not to be missed."

    If you ever come across the chance to see this film in a decent theatre, run, and let your eyeballs (and earholes) feast upon its brilliance.
  • avatar

    Quynaus

    Samsara is a depressingly accurate account of shallow human materialism, the widespread ungratefulness of our culture, and the incredible arrogance we continue to proudly possess. It features images too powerful to be computer generated and humanity too sincere to be fiction. Even though not a word is spoken, the film's images pack well over a thousand words, making Samsara, hypothetically, the longest work of poetry ever written.

    The film chronicles the living conditions, the activities, and the day-to-day routines of many different people across twenty-five different countries. We never do get a true answer where we are at, which works as a method by the filmmakers, I assume, to prevent assumptions and judgments on the places and the people. We are shown many things in these evocative, unforgettable one-hundred minutes, and more depth and enigma than many will experience in their lifetime.

    Shots are presented in crystal clear 70mm (if you're lucky enough to find a theater with the proper projector, but regular theater projectors should work efficiently enough), and we get a beautiful look at life in the slums, life in mansions placed delicately on the coastlines, and living conditions in countries such as Ethiopia and the United States. We see early religious rituals carried out, such as Tibetan monks engaged in their prayers or youthful baptisms, as well as contrasting lifestyles that involve dance mobs, suffering, and habitat destruction.

    Director Ron Ficke's imagery and global cinematography is gripping and astounding, with long shots centered on characters, groups of people, or sometimes, aerial shots that feature a wide coverage of the surrounding land. My favorites are easily the time lapse sequences, sped up to breakneck speeds, sometimes showing haunting images of uncertainty or simply the fast paced nature of our world.

    There are two sequences in particular that are the most haunting, and describing them will be no easy task. One involves a man sitting behind a desk, who begins to smear modeling clay on his face, before grabbing a tiny paint brush and stroking black and red paint all over himself as well. He begins to vigorously do both things at once, ripping clay off his face only to smear it back on, throw dust in his eyes, stick pencils in his face, etc. The long-shot becomes faster and faster, while jolting music plays in the background. The scene alone is more horrifying and surreal than anything I've seen in 2012, with the exception of Battle Royale.

    The other lasts about five or six minutes, involving a barn full of chickens helplessly being sucked into a large, ominous tractor that will kill them and prepare them for tomorrow's meal. From birth to death, they live their entire life in fear and darkness, barely being able to move due to their heavy breasts and increasing plumpness. We too get a look at pot belly pigs, also too heavy to move, as they lay still and allow their piglets to drink milk from their nipples. We then see those same baby pigs hanging from a long line in the air at a condensed factory, being prepared into the bacon you will eat tomorrow for breakfast.

    These images are nonetheless painful, but it all resorts back to what I called Samsara in the first paragraph - depressingly accurate, more haunting than fiction, and silently nudging us when we're left agape, saying, "hey, we're to thank for this." And we are. One of the final shots involves a beautiful mural of tiny colored specs being swept away in seconds by men brushing the table it is on. We are stunned that such a beautiful thing would be carelessly wiped away, but it all returns back to the idea that we were too given a beautiful slice of life and the world and we took it for granted and nearly destroyed it. We weren't able to take a second look.

    Fricke paints Samsara, which is Sanskrit for "the ever turning wheel of life," as a film that sometimes can laud human activity and then turn around and condemn it. It is predominately a loose picture, that wants you to search for meaning in its images, but unlike Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme, a horrible exercise in a similar field, we can see the images represent something and there's enough ambiguity that we are able to extract many different messages from the source material and are able to provide sufficient evidence to back up our claims. To put it simply, this is one of the best, most intellectually stimulating films of the last ten years.

    Directed by: Ron Fricke.
  • avatar

    Nidor

    My boyfriend and I went to see this at the Cinerama in Seattle. For those wanting to see this movie, I highly recommend seeing it in a theater, if possible. It's one that needs to be watched on a big screen with a great sound system to add to the amazing visual and auditory impact. It was also thought provoking and gave us plenty to think about and discuss afterward.

    Visually, this movie is one of the best I've ever seen. The time lapse photography as well as the vivid colors and detail... I don't even know how to describe it, as it was like nothing I've ever seen before.

    This film screams loudly, despite the fact that not a single word is spoken. It's a journey around the world, showing the immense beauty and the grotesque horrors of humanity, interspersed with stunning natural landscapes and the fallout of natural disaster. Nothing is held back from us and, rather than make a specific point, each viewer is able to take from the film what speaks to them. The filmmakers were able to show some incredible juxtapositions and contradictions, calling into question much of what we take for granted and don't bother to contemplate. On more than one occasion, I was moved to tears, either by the sheer beauty of the scene or out of pure disgust.

    The score was so perfectly matched to the scenery that, in some places, it was impossible to believe that the music was not present when the scenes were filmed.

    This is definitely a must see and I sincerely hope that we'll be treated to another installment from the filmmaker.
  • avatar

    Iseared

    I have found reviewing this film in detail to be futile. Instead, I will offer my own thoughts.

    Whereas 1992's "Baraka" contemplates on humanity in a dream/god-like manner, Ron Fricke's "Samsara" is more intense and solemn in its tone. From the birth of civilization, mankind has used its gift for intelligence for nothing but progress, and now, today, we have either reached or gone over the tipping point. There is no where but down this time. Humans work mechanically in a clockwork fashion, consume everything in their path, and leave the excesses behind for others to scavenge. Eventually, all will collapse, leaving nothing behind and returning the state of civilization back to ground zero. And the wheel turns on. Is this what "Samsara", Frick and co-editor Mark Magidson is trying to say? Or did you experience a completely different interpretation? It is up to you to decide.

    I will not ponder upon the technical details. The cinematography and editing is flawless; the music and music arrangement - simply mesmerizing. A work of art, like life itself, on this planet, in our cities and homes, in the desolate plains and mountains; they are shown in all its beauty, splendour and spectacle. Our planet is truly beautiful.

    I will end my review with this note - you owe no one but yourself to see this film. Every man, woman and child should see this - regardless of their personal preference of culture and entertainment. This film is a message to all of us. A warning.

    Overall rating: 100%
  • avatar

    Faezahn

    I came across the trailer for Samsara having never heard anything about it before, or the filmmakers involved, but the trailer alone made me want to check it out. I got to see it in IMAX and I'm glad I did as, as everyone else has said, visually it is stunning, so the bigger the screen you can see it on the better.

    I have never seen Fricke's previous work such as Baraka so I had no idea what to truly expect when I sat down before it started. I see people have mentioned they got bored after 30 minutes due to the lack of dialog/narration and that overall it's too long but I couldn't disagree more. From the first scene to last, I was totally engrossed in the visual and audio experience. The juxtaposition of concepts and themes worked, I got to see places and activities I didn't know about in a way I have never seen before. The soundtrack is spot on, capturing and switching the moods perfectly. It moves you.

    I see critics have said that the message of Samsara isn't clear but I don't think it needs a message. Seeing Samsara has enhanced my understanding, and appreciation for, the way our world is and works, and what really matters most to us. How many times can you go to the cinema and come out a more knowledgeable person?

    Samsara is quite simply a work of art and, like all great art, you interpret it in your own individual way and it makes you think. Do yourself a favor and experience it.
  • avatar

    Мох

    Baraka was a film that left me dazzled and mesmerized. Walking into Samsara, I was nervous that my expectations were simply too high, and that the film would too closely mimic its sibling.

    I can confidently say that by the end of Samsara, I once again experienced the flick of a light switch in my mind. Everything I am was completely put into perspective. As a result, I can promise that Samsara will leave you both awestruck and completely terrified.

    Samsara struck a very personal chord with me. Much of what is shown exists because of people like me. The film is an unfiltered walk through the things that I try my best to ignore in daily life. I'm not sure how to reconcile the imagery of Samsara with how I live my life. I'm also not sure that I want to. It would mean giving up the vast majority of my creature comforts, even though I know those comforts come at the expense of other people, animals and the planet.

    The fact the film allows me to think about these things, in a way that I normally wouldn't, means that it worked. 4/4.
  • avatar

    Elildelm

    This film has tremendous power, not just from camera technique, but from the simple device of a human face steadily gazing at you. Time and time again humanity intrudes its collective face on you as life plays out across the Earth. Acceleration contrasts with contemplation; Earth rhythms overshadow human activity; no one seems to notice.

    Samsara is beautiful, bizarre, and unforgettable. As the film progressed, my convictions as to what is 'for real' began to weaken. We may really be stuck in the same dream state. And always someone 'sees' back at you. Or is Samsara 'only a movie'?

    This is not to say there is one correct way to experience or interpret Samara. Your reaction will reflect you only. At times uncomfortable, viewing Samsara is an experience worth having.
  • avatar

    Stonewing

    S A M S A R A (my little review)

    Ron Fricke, creator of the films Chaos and Baraka creates a tour de sympathy with his third, evocative, deeply stirring, film Samsara, a movie that points directly at personal responsibility, empowerment, and the price of thoughtless consumption, attachment, creation of ideologies to supplant a close relationship with life, but also a sort of raging against the dying of the light... and those who pay the price in society... the spirit of man, the animals we share this planet with, women, children and nature itself...

    First off I would recommend this movie, this beautiful movie shot in 70mm full of color and feeling, that traverses the globe, and one's own heart. The film makes a Tibetan sand mandala of us all, blossoms a petal of truth within, then wipes away the dross...

    I believe there is not only a definite thread to follow, but it's rather like seeing a natural singularity becoming split into the myriad activities of all humanity, the occurring entanglements, and then how it comes back together into the singularity within the heart, the seat of the soul. We always have a choice to diverge or to return to the inlet of our spiritual sea, the remembrance of our natural state as humanity... I believe the movie gets this across in such a beautiful and simple way that it's life changing. I don't think everyone will get it in the moment, I believe a seed will be planted in some, watered in others, and blossom in others, but for each where they stand, the movie will meet you where you are if you are open to its message.

    Go see this movie.
  • avatar

    Zulkishicage

    For the first 10 minutes I thought it was a mistake to have bought the ticket.

    It was first time for me to see a documentary film without any commentary.

    The images were so beautiful and interesting, but I expected that I would get bored in a few minutes.

    And in fact, I did.

    but after a while, somehow I gradually got absorbed in the movie again.

    Keeping watching gorgeous images leads me to a kind of meditation.

    and in the end, I ended up getting impressed.

    You can experience something different from ordinary documentary.

    It is definitely a movie for theater, not for a small home television. If you get interested in this movie, you should go see it in a theatre.
  • avatar

    Goltigor

    Brilliant, but difficult to explain why. No plot, no acting (well, except for one scene, but I'll come to that). So, it's a documentary then? Yes, sort of, but there is no narration, nor captions, nor even tags to let you know what or where in the world you are looking at.

    In essence, it's a visual documentary on the modern world. Initially it just seems like National Geographic without any commentary: beautiful scenes of temples, nature and places you might want to go as a tourist. However, 100 minutes of random places and things could be boring after a while. Just when you start to think that might well be the case, themes start to emerge: nature, buildings, opulence vs poverty, guns/military, livestock. Pretty much everyday things, and how they are connected.

    It is basically a 100-minute stream-of-consciousness exercise, using amazing, totally natural visual imagery (ie no CGI). Enjoy it for where it takes your mind, or just for the images and the drama of everyday life.

    Only negative note is the one scene that isn't candid: a performance artist. Very pretentious and pointless and prevents this movie from being perfect.
  • avatar

    Gardagar

    Just watched the Sky Screening at Greenwich-O2. Thank you Sky for the ticket.

    Amazing movie with great visuals (mind it... no added CG). The time lapse sequences were simply amazing. Can totally believe that it took 5 years to complete the picturization. Every second spent on creating this visual symphony is worth it. Real impressed with the production team's reach. They even managed to capture amazing sequences from within a jail in China.

    Now I need to find a way of watching this team's 1992 movie 'Baraka'. I sincerely hope that it is commercially successful so that, we can see more from this amazing team.
  • avatar

    Painshade

    Samsara (Tibetan word meaning "the wheel of life") was an attempt to capture the images of today's so-called globalized word, which by the way is fading away. Yes, after 20 years of seemingly unstoppable globalization, or should I say Westernization, this economic and cultural process is coming to an end. But this is another matter. The question is does the film succeed in making sense of what's going on? No, it does not. If compared with the best works of its genre like Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and Koyaanisqatsi (1982) Samsara lacks intellect and purpose. Still, I can't deny that the 65mm stock images captured by director Ron Fricke are mostly impressive. Most of the film is beautifully shot and accompanied by a suitable score by Michael Stearns. It's certainly an absorbing motion picture. However, I'm not an admirer of Fricke's work because of his choice of locations. Why, for example, devote so much time filming in Asia and Africa? There are other interesting places in the world, like Russia and even the United States. And why does the film have to have these somber messages about globalization and nature? One can easily find a lot of beauty in the world too. And even in the Americas not everything is about guns and slums. One can easily find a lot of beauty there. For example, Koyaanisqatsi wasn't all about nature contrasted with industry. It also featured beautiful city scenery, and its message came across much better. Still, Samsara is a fine work. It features some remarkable images, including Muslims visiting the holy city of Mecca. It's not a classic but it's worth recommending.
  • avatar

    I'm a Russian Occupant

    This is one of the strangest films I have ever seen. I'm not sure it even qualifies as a film in the traditional sense. Could it be classed as one of the very few silent colour films? Whatever it is, I was impressed. It's like flicking through a Technicolor encyclopaedia.

    Developing themes from his earlier 'Baraka', Ron Fricke's documentary uses 70mm film to show mostly a series of still images, with some motion shots. Entirely wordless, except for an Enya-esque soundtrack, 'Samsara' (Sanskrit for 'cycle of worldly existence') is more accessible than Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life', which it resembles pictorially and, to a lesser extent, conceptually.

    Wikipedia describes this film as having no narrative. I think that's wrong. The heterogeneous images of various cultures and vistas, culled over five years from 25 countries, from America to China, Israel to Indonesia, aren't random. They link to form a point: that the world is wonderful, horrible, spectacular, confusing and beautiful – and will be ad infinitum.

    The first half contains scenes of the natural world, while the second half deals (with more than a hint of a religious bent) with man and all that he does to undo nature. I was struck particularly by the 'consumption' sequences, showing the mass-slaughtering of animals followed by shots of people happily devouring them as junk food.

    At 102 minutes this is Fricke's longest feature, and I did feel it was overlong. No impact would have been lost if this was as short as his other films. The frequent use of time-lapse photography was a noticeable distraction, for no other reason than the images remained more or less constant throughout the jumps.

    The way people and landmarks are filmed is interesting. The camera gazes at subjects, and captures landmarks at uncommon angles. It's as if we're discovering these spectacles for the first time. I'm sure I haven't quite conveyed my point, but if you see this visual feast, you'll see what I'm trying to say.

    www.moseleyb13.com
  • avatar

    MisterQweene

    This film was a disappointment for me, especially considering how much I loved Baraka (the director's other film which is very similar). I could go into many details about what I disliked about it, but the main points are these:

    1. It's not nearly as groundbreaking as you might think. Why? Well, first of all, although the cinematography and scenery is indeed stunning at times, technically speaking, it's no step up from Baraka which was made twenty years prior to this. They were both shot on 65MM (released in 70MM) film. Essentially, nothing has changed in Fricke's filmmaking techniques. He repeats many of the same or similar types of shots from Baraka. We get the people staring into the camera who must feel awkward and are usually not smiling. (How is this better than just a photograph, by the way?) We also see more time-lapse photography of cities and factories and lots of people moving about; again, this is nothing new.

    2. There are too many stereotypical travel sites/sights and clichés. If you like travelling at all and have read or seen any travel magazines, or even if you've been watching a lot of films and documentaries for a while, then you should already be quite familiar with many of the places and images shown in this film. The opening shots in Burma, while admittedly amazing, are not much better than what has been seen in Lonely Planet guides and National Geographic magazines. I could say the same for typical scenes of African tribes and even the poverty (again, stereotypes of Africa - they must be all poor or savages, right?). Then we have the Hajj in Saudi Arabia which has been seen numerous times in other places. Same goes for the geishas and Torii gates in Japan (plus freaky robots and sex dolls - Japan is always either high tech and freaky or traditional and quaint), and the ladyboys of Thailand. And lets not forget the scenes in famous American National Parks which have been done to death already. There is virtually nothing original or different here. About the only thing that stood out to me was the incongruous performance art scene which felt out of place and designed to shock more than anything else.

    3. The most important reason why this film fails in my opinion is that while it seems to have some kind of agenda, it can't really make up its mind what it is. Whatever message we are meant to take away from it isn't clear. There is no real discernible structure to the whole work, which is essential to have without any kind of narration or dialogue. At first it seems to be a Buddhist film (and the title certainly implies that), but then why all the scenes of churches and Muslims? Doesn't really fit to my mind. And there seems to be more pessimism here than in Baraka; Samsara is more in line with the earlier Qatsi trilogy that Fricke was also involved with. But then you see great scenes of beauty. I suppose you could argue that Fricke is just trying to show life in its entirety - that there is suffering as well as beauty in this world. In that case, you might say that he is successful. But it has been done better before by other filmmakers and even by Fricke, in my opinion. This is a largely redundant and superficial project. It seems to want to be deep, but it really only skims the surface.

    Lastly, although I sound pretty harsh in my assessment, I do want to note that this is a film to see on the largest and best screen possible. If you only care about pretty images (along with a few ugly ones), then you may get more out of this than I did. But I'd still say you'd be better off seeing Baraka again or for the first time.
  • avatar

    Ironrunner

    Human subjects are urged to look at the camera and not speak and not smile.

    Taped subjects such as landscapes are sometimes shown at altered speeds.

    Cool images: pharaoh's head; castle on a peak; Tibetan images; active sand dunes; high ceilings and stained glass in cathedrals; orange dunes in stark light; dead tree stumps against the rotation of the stars in the night skies; aerial videos of cities at night.

    Uncool images: ugly old statues with massive time lapse; unused buildings filling up with sand; ruined, abandoned strip malls, stores, school rooms; automobiles and small houses interacting unnaturally; man covering his head with clay since it looks like a cheap, gimmicky horror film; chicken, bovine, pork processing; plastic surgery pre-processing; humans doing garbage recycling by hand for a living.

    Indifferent images: oh, so many, such as the indoor skiing.

    After watching the whole film twice, I'd say that all the images became indifferent. This is just concatenation in void context; all significance has been driven down to zero by the silent treatment.

    If you've got a story to tell, tell it. Use language and planning.

    After watching the film the first time, I read well over 50 reviews of it. In almost all cases, the review consisted of interpretations from experiences and axes to grind from outside the film. Frankly, it looked like stretching in every case. Watching the film again reinforced this opinion. Documentary films, by and large, have issues to raise and things to say about those issues. This film has images to present, but no point of view. The reviewers I read loaded in their own POV, whereas I'd say this film is just "I've collected a number of high quality images."
  • avatar

    Brol

    When I finished Samsara, I had an overwhelming sense of completeness. Like everything important I wanted to say about life and my experience as a perplexed human individual, was said. Without the use of any verbal articulation, but images, not only does Samsara do an unreal cinematographic job at capturing magnificent time-lapsing skylines and beautiful human architecture and cultural customs, but it eloquently juxtaposes its scenes to create epiphanies in the viewer. From musing at how infinite and beautiful the universe is, to examining the roots of human insecurity and the inherent angst of the industrial/corporate mechanization of humans and animals, Samsara takes the viewer on an existential journey through the mystery and experience of a conscious being on earth. If only a small time capsule of earth's memory should live on without us, this film should be included. Alien scholars would revel in their discovery.
  • avatar

    Winotterin

    An unimaginable concept which entices the spirit of culture and tradition. The images displayed in the film resembles the art of nature and the world we live in. The movie embraces on the daily routine of several people across different countries with different cultures. It is a very good experience for the first timers who watch a film which involves no voice.The movie starts with the worship of Tibetan monks and their rituals and the movie continues with the beauty of nature and how the present world is ruining it. There was a scene for about 10 minutes that shows how the world is treating other species and most importantly animals for our meal. One should have a lot of courage to make a movie like this. I recommend this movie to everyone who has patience and courage to digest the facts about the world we are living in.
  • avatar

    Onoxyleili

    "Samsara" was shot on the highest film quality possible (70mm), and outputted to digital format. I don't know why I put off seeing it for so long, unfortunately it was one of those films in a long list you'll just eventually get around to seeing. Within Buddhism, "Samsara" is explained as the repetitious, but continuing cycle of birth and death. The process of cycling through one rebirth after another, is figuring out whether it was a psychological experience or a physical one.

    And I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Samsara" takes about 10 minutes to really warm up, and when it does it's an utter spectacle of both cinematography, editing and narrative. Master director Ron Fricke's efforts have been thoroughly constructed, and transitions flow seamlessly. It's gorgeous to see sands in the desert move like the ocean, and shadows sweeping mountains from dusk to dawn revealing rich unearthly colours. Monk's craft heavily detailed mosaic's with sand, and cultures from both sides of the world are uniquely different and humorously not so different after all.

    There's not much to say, other than the movie is a wonderful experience. In the age of the Internet and cheaper travel, Mr. Fricke's previous outing "Baraka" has aged terribly in my mind. "Samsara" feels like a conclusion, but more "Quasi-remake" that just flows better in comparison.

    Final Verdict: Highly worth your time. It has its darker moments, but to have not included them would be a disservice to the picture. 8/10.
  • avatar

    spacebreeze

    The universe is full of things that are bot infinitely varied yet profoundly the same. From every galaxy, to every grain of sand, to every life there is, has been, and will be; each one is simultaneously somewhat uniform yet entirely unique. The complex web of factors behind the diversity appears almost chaotic, but scratch beneath the surface and patterns, formula, laws can always be found if you go deep enough.

    And that's what I took away from Samsara. It's an exquisitely shot and deeply moving piece of work In 102 minutes Fricke and Magidson do a heck of a job in presenting as systemic a picture of the diversity and complexity of our societies and the Earth system processes they find themselves within whilst also hinting at the commonalities to be found everywhere also.

    It seems as if the media are being especially bleak at the moment. And being so incredibly moved by a film that couldn't be any more non-fiction provided a strong beam of optimistic light in the encroaching darkness. The level of connection to this planet and the people on it which Samsara can stimulate is truly something.

    After watching it, I returned to a YouTube comment that stood out for me. It said: "the feeling of awe is almost the ultimate antidote against existential despair. It's beautiful how they captured these everyday wonders that we are culturally conditioned to ignore". In a world showing worrying signs of tipping points, collapses and risks of futures that are incompatible with a civilised global community, Samsara is a reminder that it's the diversity of our cultures, our loves, our very existences that may ultimately unite us. If only we'd let it.

    Watch this film.
  • avatar

    great ant

    Samsara is a hard film to explain. The closest film to it is Manufactured Landscapes. Samasara was filmed in 70 mm. It is meant for the big screen. It just shows you strange things, without a hint of judgement. It is so visually overwhelming and varied, you do not get bored.

    It was filmed all over the world showing dramatic landscapes, architecture or human activity.

    It has a sound track, but no dialogue or narration. You are not even told where on earth you are. You have to figure out everything for yourself. It raises so many questions and gives you no way to answer them.

    It has a few clichés.

    1. showing a scene over a day in stop motion so the shadows race across the ground.

    2. showing people just quietly staring at the camera doing nothing. You get to study them.

    3. alternately showing opulence and desolation.

    What is the point of this movie? Showing you what a mind-blowing place our planet is.
  • avatar

    Zehaffy

    There is no doubt Samsara is visually breathtaking. But it is not only about nice "pictures" or the good and bad face of humanity. The logic of this movie follows the rules of the classic fascist aesthetics. It is about greatness in every level, a totally megalomaniac scale on what Mr. Ron Fricke thinks about the world. Come on, who the hell believes that the US is only about buying, eating and guns? who thinks that in certain communities there are no bad things, like the scenes in Nepal or with the Maasai people. Only the innocence of the children and the sacred art. South-America is about the favelas and trash collectors? It is a tradition in Europe(US as well) that people are looking for untouched lands and holiness in the Far-East, but come on, it is obviously a lie. Without a "script" it works only as a photo collage, not more.

    I cannot believe that Fricke sees the world in that simple way. Our information about the world is more layered and more complex, than guns and McDonalds are bad and Buddhism is good. How they connect the scenes is also a bit clumsy. After the industry of weapons we can see a dead man, who is buried in a gun shaped coffin. So the message of the movie is equally deep like a summer blockbuster and they even doesn't let you think about it, they make it so obvious for you, that you only have to accept their ideas. That is why I say that this is an old fashioned propaganda movie. Luckily it doesn't serve any ideology, but it could have been an amazing experience...what a pity!
  • avatar

    Mr_Mole

    This is simply incredible film making and a testament to the medium itself. Without any dialogue or apparent story and simply through visual cues and incredible editing one of the most important pieces of work since the since 2000 has been created. The film itself is a tribute to earth itself and the environment that we surround ourselves in, as well as an homage to the our culture, diversity and our triumphs. It is also though a searing indictment of consumerism, greed, the superficial nature of society and violence that is prevalent in our world. It is truly incredible cinema that won't lave me anytime soon. Thank you for making this incredible piece of work.
  • avatar

    Yananoc

    Immense! This movie shows us things we're familiar with and things we have never even imagined, and yet it all comes from somewhere in our home, on our planet, within our environment. Framed by Buddhist philosophy and art, we have a god's-eye-view of all continents, all classes, so many cultures and vastly different terrains. We see the endless desert- scape, we see Cairo, the United States, China, Tibet, indigenous peoples of South America, the architecture of Rome, the worshippers of Mecca. We see various trades, the wounded, the dead, families, contrasting political and social agendas. We are left with a feeling of bittersweet grandiosity, the way that Buddhism leaves its adherents. Pain exists, we may never get rid of it. Maybe violence cannot solve violence. Maybe the path of progress is a lot slower than most of us think, maybe the only solution is to take on this weighty all-encompassing compassion that this movie offers up, and pray that it spreads by example and because it is the most virtuous and inevitable way. That's the magic of this movie, that it does not look down on anyone, it seeks to document everyone as they would be documented, and yet there is editorializing, however subtle it is: that we all have the nobility of consciousness, and we are all each as consequential as a fleck of sand upon the Sahara.
  • avatar

    Frlas

    Viewers who have enjoyed Ron Fricke's work in the past know what they're in for, and "Samsara" delivers the goods. For people not familiar with his prior works: His films contain some of the most perfect cinematography ever put to screen, from a technical as well as aesthetical POV. The images are breathtaking and often provocative. Decay and bloom, culture and nature, quiet and loud, slow and fast - this film centers on strong contrasts, in cinematography as well as motifs. Scenes of beauty are in juxtaposition with ugliness and cruelty, and every few minutes people are staring at you with questioning eyes, daring you to construct meaning.

    If this film doesn't get 10/10 from me, it's because, as good as Fricke is from the technical POV, I would like his images to be a bit more adventurous. What we see here is extremely classic photography and cinematography, with very balanced screen layouts and contrasts and motifs - there's nearly nothing here to surprise me, nearly no frame that hasn't been shot before in a similar (if technically inferior) manner. Still highly recommended!
  • avatar

    FLIDER

    Dialog-free vistas and stunning panoramas from the makers of the equally-minimal HD heavyweight Baraka. It's a visual revelation - a shifting, stirring, breathing case study for motion photography - and the kind of cinema that Blu-Ray was born for. As the direct successor to the aforementioned Baraka, though, direct comparisons are both inevitable and often unfair. In some lights, it does manage to surpass its predecessor, particularly in its series of jaw-dropping long exposure landscapes. That's a surface that was merely scratched before, and Samsara's renditions are a jolting evolution of the format. In the cases of musical accompaniment, deeper meanings and sheer variety of subject, though, it falls a few steps short of the bar. This kind of picture isn't for everybody (in fact, it put my family to sleep) and if this is your first rodeo you'd be far better served with Baraka or Koyaanisqatsi, but seasoned fans should welcome the new material... even if it's not *quite* as grand as previous entries.