Samsara

September 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
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For those of you who know “Baraka,” the format of this film will be remarkably familiar to such a degree that you might wonder why make this sequel at all.  However, I would have to gently disagree.  During its 99 minute running time, I found myself far more mesmerized than bored and, though the format & message were the same, none of the images were.  For the uninitiated, “Samsara” has no speaking at all: no dialogue or narration.  In fact, it has no human voices except those singing faintly during some musical pieces.  It is simply images from around the world stitched together in a way to highlight the beauty, the frailty and the transience of life and culture.  We are shown stunning scenes of nature, powerful images of diverse human dignity, the majesty of great human civilizations (crumbled and rising), and human need for the spiritual and the profane.  All is presented without comment and, to my mind, without judgement.  It is all simply part of who we are: beautiful, needy, weak and strong.  When NASA next sends a vessel into deep space, with all of its maps, photographs, anatomy lessons and recordings of human sounds, it should also have this movie because it captures so many parts of what it means to be human that we would otherwise forget to mention.

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