Baraka is an incredible nonverbal film containing images of 24 countries from 6 continents, created by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, with music from Michael Stearns and others. The film has no plot, contains no actors and has no script. Instead, high quality 70mm images show some of the best, and worse, parts of nature and human life. Timelapse is used heavily to show everyday life from a different perspective. Baraka is often considered a spiritual film.
Baraka is now available on Blu Ray DVD
Baraka has finally got a Blu Ray transfer, allowing the film to be seen in the quality that it was intended.
A unique 8K ultradigital transfer system was developed especially for Baraka to capture it to Blu Ray.
The new release includes 80 minutes of new bonus features.
The disc comes in 100% recycled material.
Baraka is an ancient Sufi word, which can be translated as "a blessing, or as the breath, or essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds." For many people Baraka is the definitive film in this style. Breathtaking shots from around the world show the beauty and destruction of nature and humans. Coupled with an incredible soundtrack including on site recordings of The Monks Of The Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery.
Baraka is evidence of a huge global project fueled by a personal passion for the world and visual art. Working on a reported US$4 million budget, Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, with a three-person crew, swept through 24 countries in 14 months to make this stunning film.
One of the very last films shot in the expensive TODD-AO 70mm format, Ron Fricke developed a computer-controlled camera for the incredible time-lapse shots, including New York's Park Avenue rush hour traffic and the crowded Tokyo subway platforms.
Some people find the lack of context in Baraka occasionally frustrating, not knowing where a section was filmed, or the meaning of the ritual taking place. However, the DVD version includes a short behind-the-scenes featurette in which cinematographer Ron Fricke explains that the effect was intentional. "It's not where you are that's important, it's what's there."
The DVD also includes behind the scenes footage, including scenes of the grueling shoot at Ayer's Rock in Australia, when a plague of flies of Biblical proportions made it impossible to film until they rigged up a vacuum to suck the bugs away from the lens.
For me Baraka is the pinnacle of these films. The quality of the cinematography is outstanding. Shots flip from solitary Monks to crowded streets from great temples to images of war firing a hundred and one thoughts in your mind that you never complete.
Baraka is not just about what you are seeing, It is also about how it is presented. Shots of monks will make you grab your backpack and head for Asia as soon as the film finishes, but you never make it as the shots of post war Kuwait and the refuse dumps of Calcutta remind you that us humans are far from perfect. The decision to use the Todd-70mm format film could never have been easy. The extra cost and work is clearly worth it though, it leaves its mark against all of the other films.
Here are some great interviews with the film makers. Taken from the DVD extras.
Visual images include...
Tibetan monks, Orthodox Jews, Whirling Dervishes, a solar eclipse, Buddhist monks, African tribal rituals, Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, rain forests, Ayers Rock, Big Sur country, Hawaiian volcanoes, Brazilian slums, time-lapse footage of car and pedestrian traffic, post-Persian Gulf War shots of Kuwait's burning oil fields, burning-of-the-dead ceremonies on the Ganges, refuse dumps of Calcutta, Auschwitz, Egyptian Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Mount Everest, Tuol Sleng in Cambodia, Indonesian factory workers.
Baraka has a stunning and varied soundtrack. Primarily composed by Michael Stearns, but also including contributions from many other artists and performers. Buy the soundtrack here.
'Baraka a visual journal' is a book containing 58 original still photographs taken by Mark Magidson during the journey that created the film. Buy the book here. The images vary greatly with content and style, from Black and white to colour, from letter box to full page. The book contains passages where Magidson describes the film and its meaning. It also has 36 small shots, with descriptions showing the people and equipment that made the film. I would strongly recommend the book to anyone who has a passion for the film. It is very nicely printed on Monadnock Dulcet and bound in Asahi Cloth, produced by St. Anne's Press.
Samsara - the sequel
Ron Fricke is working on a sequel to Baraka entitled Samsara.
Directed and filmed by Ron Fricke.
Produced by Mark Magidson.
Edited by Ron Fricke, Mark Magidson and David Aubrey.
Production supervised by Alton Walpole.
Music by Michael Stearns, Dead Can Dance, David Hykes/The Harmonic Choir, Somet Satoh, Anugama & Sebastiano, Kohachiro Miyata, Inkuyo, L. Subramaniam, Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery, Rustavi Choir, Ciro Hurtado, Brother.
Read the complete credits and awards
- Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Centre, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, USA
- Ahmadi, Kuwait| American Express Corporation, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
- Angkor Thom, Cambodia
- Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Angkor, Cambodia
- Arches National Park, Moab, Utah, USA
- Auschwitz, Poland
- Auytthaya Province, Thailand
- Bali, Indonesia
- Bang Pa-ln, Thailand
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Barrio Mapasingue, Ecuador
- Bathurst Island, Northern Territory, Australia
- Bayon, Cambodia
- Beijing, China
- Bhaktapur, Nepal
- Big Sur, California, USA
- Bodnath, Nepal
- Borobudur, Indonesia
- Burgan Field, Kuwait
- Bytom, Poland
- Caiapó Village, Pará, Brazil
- Cairo, Egypt
- Calcutta, West Bengal, India
- Caldad Blanca Cementerio, Ecuador
- Candi Nandi, Indonesia
- Candi Perwara, Indonesia
- Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, Arizona, USA
- Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah, USA
- Carajás Animal Reserve, Pará, Brazil
- Cathedral, Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, France
- Cathedral, Reims, Marne, France
- Central Australia, Australia
- Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, France
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel
- City of the Dead, Egypt
- Cocinda, Northern Territory, Australia
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, USA
- Durbar Square, Nepal
- Emam Mosque, Iran
- Empire State Building - 350 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
- Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- Galata Mevlevi Temple, Istanbul, Turkey
- Ganges River, India
- General De Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Ghats, India
- Grand Central Station, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
- Great Hall of the People, China
- Green Plaza Capsule Hotel, Japan
- Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Greenhaven, New York, USA
- Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
- Haleakalä National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA
- Hanuman Ghat, Nepal
- Helmsley Building - 250 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
- Himalayas, Nepal
- Hokke-Ji Temple, Japan
- Iguazú waterfalls, Argentina
- Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Isfahan, Iran
- Istanbul, Turkey
- JR Shinjuku Station, Japan
- JVE Yokosuka Factory, Japan
- Jadarta-Istigial Mosque, Indonesia
- Jahra Road - Mitla Ridge, Kuwait
- Java, Indonesia
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Jim Jim Falls, Northern Territory, Australia
- Jogjakarta-Prambanan, Indonesia
- Kailashnath Temple, India
- Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
- Kasunanan Palace, Indonesia| Kathmandu, Nepal
- Kediri Tabanan, Indonesia
- Kediri-Gudang Gama Cigarette Factory, Indonesia
- Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, USA
- Kona, Hawai`i, Hawaii, USA
- Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
- Kunwarde Hwarde Valley, Northern Territory, Australia
- Kyoto, Japan
- Lake Magadi, Kenya
- Lake Natron, Tanzania
- Li River, China
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Luxor, Egypt
- Mancan Padi, Indonesia
- Mara Kichwan Tembo Manyatta, Kenya
- Mara Rianta Manyatta, Kenya
- Massai Mara, Kenya
- Maui, Hawaii, USA
- Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- Meiji Shrine, Japan
- Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, USA
- Mount Everest, Nepal
- Mount Tramserku, Nepal
- Mt. Bromo Valley, Indonesia
- NMB Factory, Thailand
- Nagano Springs, Japan
- Nara, Japan
- National Museum of India, New Delhi, India
- New York City, New York, USA
- Nittaku, Japan
- Northern Territory, Australia
- Oakland, California, USA
- Pasupati, Nepal| Patpong, Thailand
- Peabody Coal Mine, Black Mesa, Arizona, USA
- Persepolis, Iran
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA
- Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil
- Presh Khan, Cambodia
- Pu`u`ö`ö, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai`i, Hawaii, USA
- Pyramids at Giza, Egypt
- Qin Shi Huang, China
- Quilin, China
- Ramasseum, Egypt
- Reims, Marne, France
- Represa Samuel/Dam & Lake, Rondônia, Brazil
- Rio Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Ryoan-Ji Temple, Japan
- Sangho-Ji Temple, Japan
- Shahcherach Mosque, Iran
- Shiprock, New Mexico, USA
- Shiraz, Iran
- Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Soi Cowboy, Thailand
- Sonsam Kosal Killing Fields, Cambodia
- Sormville, New York, USA
- St. Peter Basilica, Vatican City
- Swayambhu, Nepal
- São Paulo City, São Paulo, Brazil
- Ta Proum, Cambodia
- Tampak Siring, Indonesia
- Tegal Allang, Indonesia
- Temple Gunung Kawi, Indonesia
- Temple of Karnak, Egypt
- Temple of Luxor, Egypt
- Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
- Tiwi Tribe, Northern Territory, Australia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Tomoe Shizung & Hakutobo, Japan
- Tonle Omm Gate, Cambodia
- Tuol Sleng Museum, Cambodia
- Uluru / Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
- Uluru National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
- Uluwatu, Indonesia
- Vandharajan Temple, Varanasi, India
- Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Vatican City
- Wat Arun, Thailand
- Wat Suthat, Thailand
- Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
- White House, Arizona, USA
- World Trade Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
- Xi'an, China
- Yamanouchi-Machi Town Office, Japan
- Yellow Water, Northern Territory, Australia
- Zoujou-Ji Temple, Japan