Samsara

Last updated by Darren on 16 October 2014

Samsara monks

Samsara Blu-Ray & DVD

Samsara Blu-RaySamsara is available to pre-order now, on DVD and Blu-Ray.  The DVD and Blu-Ray come in a single pack in the UK.

Pre-order from Amazon using the links below

 

 

Samsara Trailer available to watch online

Samsara is a nonverbal film described by the makers as a "guided meditation".  The film uses very high quality images, scenes of nature and mankind to stimulate the viewer.  The film contains no plot or actors, although there are several performers in the film. Samsara is Ron Fricke's 2011 follow-up to Baraka.  

Review

This review is based on a single viewing of Samsara from the World Premiere in Toronto.  It is very likely to change a little as I watch the film again (and again probably).  Darren Lambert, October 2011.

Samsara is different to Baraka, as Ron Fricke told me himself.  But it has the same spirit.  Samsara has the same exquisite picture quality, emotion evoking landscapes and people,  timelapse sequences, fast paced editing, and emotional music.

Samsara is more about people than Baraka.  It is less spiritual than Baraka.  It is more urban than Baraka.  If you like Baraka, you will probably like Samsara.

Samsara starts quickly with a traditional Balinese dance.  Quite the contrary to the slow start of Baraka.  Several sequences play before the titles let you know that the intro is over.

The content of Samsara is varied.  With a definite emphasis on people, what people have done, what they do and what has happened to people.  

Shots are cleverly intertwined.  When watching a sequences that seems to show an abandoned house full of sand, I didn’t realise when the next sequence was a house form New Orleans, with a car stuck between houses, and mud inside the homes.

Samsara has a sense of humour.  There are three memorably sequences where people laughed at the premiere, and I think this will be the same for most audiences.  And of course on the flip-side there are very serious sequences filmed inside several abattoirs. These sequences are likely to be a source of controversy for viewers, just like the battery chicken farms from Baraka were.  Chicken factories are again included in Samsara.  I suspected that many people, myself included, will question that if these images seem are hard to watch, should we really continue to eat meat?

There are definitely touches of Ron Fricke’s earlier films.  Time-lapse sequences of car headlights at night are remaniscent of Koyaanisqatsi.  Whilst from Chronos, the light creeping across St Peters, and the tide from the top of St Mont St Michel are beautifully re-created.  A sulphur mine is also featured, that seems familiar to the mine in Powaqatsi, but I don't think it is the same mine.

Samsara gives me a big feeling that we as humans are all part of a massive circle, whether we like it or not.  And everyone plays their part of that circle.

Circles also appear in other themes of the film.  People's need to  recycle is featured, especially that of the poorer nations of the world.

From the darkness of reflection comes an amazing sequence from within a prison.  The orange overall wearing inmates perform an amazing routine in the exercise yard.  Tough inmates watch from behind bars.  I later found out that the inmates are from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, in the Philippines.  Their performance is mesmerising, and I am sure that a small part of their display re-enacts the Kecak dance seen in Baraka.

Samsara was made 19 years after Baraka, and the world has changed.  One musical piece that stood out was that of a hip hip track, fitting the visuals perfectly.

Just like in Baraka, war is featured.  We see weapons being manufactured.  

We also see, just like in Baraka, the Western Wall of Jerusalem.  This time however, the people are shown more up-close, which is a running theme in Samsara.

Perhaps the finest wide angle sequence is that of Mecca.  Whilst Mecca was included in Baraka, the sequence in Samsara is bigger and better.  Very close details of those praying.  As the sequence ends the shots get wider, and wider giving away the huge sense of the celebration in a way probably never seen before.  How the team manage to get permission to film in this way shows their talent as negotiators as well as filmmakers.

A re-occuring theme in Samsara is that or cycles, repetition, or as Ron Fricke wrote many years ago - The Wheel of Life.

Samsara is a beautiful, guided meditation of the people of the world.  I highly-recommend that you try and see it on the big screen before it goes to DVD and Blu Ray.

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Images

Images are © Copyright 2011 Magidson Films.

Behind The Scene Images

Images are © Copyright 2011 Magidson Films.

Just watched Samsara at the Max Linder movie theater in Paris (France) a few days ago. It was presented with a new Christie 4K digital projector.
As could be expected, image quality was great !

supper film
really grate photography

when is Samsara coming to Israel theaters ? there are many people that want to see this masterpiece here

i`m from Argentina, i think is impossible to shows the film here, please, help, how can i see it?????

I've just seen it for the 2nd time. The first was in London which included the Skype conversation and the 2nd was at Birmingham.

It was much better with the 2nd viewing. First time round there was too much to take in and I didn't fully appreciate the message.

I am now looking forward to seeing it in Leicester in a few weeks.

It's pretty funny seeing how old some of the posts are on here. It shows the anticipation many people have had for this sequel. I watched Baraka so many times I had to buy a new copy because the other one wore out.

I can't wait to see it here in Austin this weekend! So glad they finally got it out there.

Anyone know the best cinema to watch this in London? In terms of quality of the film? I wanted to watch it in ritzy picturehouse, but I've been there before and the quality of the screen is always a bit low compared to other cinemas.

Is showing at the BFI IMAX at 9:15pm this Thursday (30th Sept).

Biggest screen in the UK and a proper 70mm projector.

You will not see it anywhere better in this country.

I went to watch this at odeon on shaftsbury ave. It was amazing, would recommend it to anyone

As far as I know, the Odeon feature a 2k projector.

May be quite better at Apollo cinema, where they supposely have a 4k projector instead.

Wow! Truly amazing! Baraka, but so much better, more vivid colours, more dynamic, more beautiful. It should be the advert for alien visitors to come and visit earth. I shall be seeing it again as soon as I can.

I've been hearing of this for so long I can't remember. But I never have clear informations. When will we be able to see this in Montreal? I mean, I'm sure you guys want to have maximum impact... but please! Tell us release dates!

Any chance i can see this amazing movie in Israel? thanks :)

When Samrara will be released in French theaters? Do you have a date?
Thank you.

Christophe.

Please bring this film to Halifax Nova Scotia.I saw it @ TIFF and waht to see it again.....

Just seen Samsara at a private viewing in Dublin Ireland. Guys this film is a must to see in a cinema. The photography and music amazing. A beautiful story line, one thing..... the part of food processing plants are at the edge, a bit hard to take. Overall I can not wait to see it again when it is launched in Ireland's cinemas on the 31st August. Well done again Ron and your team a wonder follow-up to Baraka. Roll on August

Do you think there's any chance this will be in a few cinema's in the Netherlands?

it says it's been released in Aug in the US, but what about UK?

It will be a Worldwide release in August/September, UK and Netherlands.

Thanks for clearing that up Darren, got one more question, will it only be played in cinemas that have the latest digital projection technology?

I can't be sure, but I think cinemas with any digital projection can show it. It doesn't have to be the high-quality 4K projection used for the premieres.

According to this website, the movie should be shown in theater's this August.
http://www.indiewire.com/article/oscilloscope-acquires-baraka-follow-up-...

I really appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this production. I'm waiting patiently for the release in the UK

I LOVE Baraka. I've watched it many times, always so inspired by every scene. I am very disappointed that Samsara has not been shown in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am incensed that Toronto has enjoyed Samsara but not good ol' SF. At least get the DVD released! I cannot understand what is taking so long to get this film shown around the world when you've finally finished it. This is ridiculous, and this is coming from a great fan of your work.

Samsara is not a normal film. Distributing it takes hard work and time. It will come to San Francisco later this year. It has been 20 years since Baraka was released, so please wait a little longer for Samsara.

Please!!! As soon as you get info as to when it will be coming to San Francisco, CA let us know. Have been waiting very patiently for years to see the sequel to Baraka! Can't hardly wait!! Looking fwd to it!!

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Just wondering if samsara has a release date for uk yet? and also when eventual release onto DVD/ Bluray, with this be getting same treatment as Baraka i.e. top end highdef release?
Thanks
Rob

Just watched the Samsara Trailer...looks fantastic. All that Baraka was and More...loking farward to seeing this on the big screen, lets hope somewhere in Scotland will be showing it.

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Samsara Blu-Ray & DVD

Samsara Blu-ray and DVD
Pre-order from Amazon using the links below

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