Let me begin with this…If you’re reading this review to find out whether Samsara is worth seeing, it is. Read no further, go and watch it and then come back, because the less you know about it upon entering the cinema, the better. Samsara labels itself a ’guided meditation.’ There are no words, just music and a series of breathtaking visuals. There is no obvious agenda, and each audience member will take away from it something different.
The name Samsara comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “the ever turning wheel of life,” and no other name could be more appropriate. It opens your eyes to many things, bringing to mind some age old questions but also some very topical ones. It’s a thought-provoking experience, and let me emphasise, it is definitely an ’experience.’ The contrasting images show a world so diverse and vast, that even the most travelled individual can find something they’ve never seen before.
Samsara took 5 years to create and is captured entirely on 70mm film, transferred through the highest resolution scanning process to 4K digital projection. The results are strikingly bold colours, pin sharp detail and shots that can only be marvelled at. It’s not the first of such films by Ron Fricke (director) and Mark Magison (producer.) It follows Baraka, which was released in 1992, and Chronos, in 1985.
Written by Francesca Bassenger, images courtesy of barakasamsara.com.