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 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.

Hi Rob

No date set yet. It will be later in 2012.
The DVD and Blu Ray will be top end I am sure. They have taken great care with quality so far.

Regards

Darren

Hi,
can´t wait to watch your new movie. hope to see it also in vienna.thanks a lot and best regards
David from Vienna*

Hi there,

I am hoping the same for Australian viewers.

Regards.

Will this be in any theaters in Canada? When will it be released for purchase? Thank you <3

Likely in Spring time 2012 for theaters. DVD after that.

Darren do you know if there is any screening planned for Argentina or worldwide release?

No information yet. But stayed tuned to find out.

Hi Darren,
I can't seem to find any info on when Samsara will be screened in the UK. I'm hoping that it will screened in a cinema in London that can do the 70mm film format justice.
Thanks
Matt

Hi Matt

Plans are in progress to bring Samsara to the UK.
Sign up for the newsletter to stay in informed.
Samsara is playing in a 4K projection, rather than 70mm. It looks fantastic.

Cheers

Darren

Can't believe have only seen Baraka, & not all Fricke's other films. I want to see & own EVERYTHING by him!!! anyway, thot you'd enjoy these comments re his works. L, m

TIFF11 in September!!!! YES!!! At long last...Please be playing in 70mm (considering TIFF is one of the few places with a 70mm projector installed this is the perfect opportunity to use it)!

Hope release this year for true!

I just returned from a lecture given by Lisa Gerrard.

She advised she has just finished the soundtrack to Samsara and that the film is slated to be sent to the Toronto Film Festival in September 2011.

Very exciting news!

http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/sanctuary-lisa-gerra...

"Discussion between films with Lisa Gerrard, director Mark Magidson, composer Michael Stearns (schedule permitting) and director Ron Fricke (schedule permitting). Magidson’s new 70mm film, SAMSARA, will be discussed as part of the Q&A."

Can't miss this!

Well? Did anyone go? Any news about Samsara?

Yeah, I was there, it was quite interesting actually, he gave a lot of good info.

Can you please share some of that info with us? Release date at least?

Of course my friend, what would you like to know?

Release Date?

There is no information to share at the moment. I'll post release dates and any other information on this website as soon as it becomes available.

Your movies are are always inspiring us in making music!
One Love!!!
:-_

As a photographer, I was riveted by Baraka, and am excited at the prospect of a sequel. There is a tiny handful of films from which you could extract any frame, print it, and hang it at a gallery. Baraka is one of those. Like others, I've owned it in various formats and my wife and I periodically slide the latest version into the Blu-Ray player for yet another dose of awe, beauty, and pathos. Please release soon!

Alan
http://www.aeckertphoto.com

I am very excited to see SAMSARA. I hope it will be released on 70MM as well. No matter what, it will be exhilirating and AWE-some. I love how BARAKA and CHRONOS transcend storytelling and narrative to create a powerful cinematic experience that is about emotions, feelings, sensations, pacing, metaphors, themes, and general ideas in a completely non-narrative form without stories and without characters or acting. To force it down into a story and narrative would be invalid, it would be reductionist and limiting. Ron Fricke's movies are about so much more than that. They are purely cinematic experiences which I prefer to story, narrative, and character-driven works of art. That is a great thing and should be embraced, not evaded. Mr. Fricke is making autonomous cinematic works of art which are unique and pure. He is a fantastic artist.

over at in70mm.com there is new news that the release of 'Samsara' in 70mm is in doubt:

"We are happy to say we have wrapped principal photography and are starting the editing process. We anticipate completion by the end of the year. At this point we are not certain of the ultimate release form beyond digital 4K and 35mm."

this news is very troubling and I hope a dozen 70mm prints could be struck for release to theatres that can showcase it as such. In the DC area, there are at least two theatres that can present it, the Uptown and the AFI Silver theatre, if 70mm is impractical, then release it in IMAX

I love that still photo. I'm going to subscribe to be updated on this sure-to-be wonderful film. Mahalo.

I first saw Baraka in 70mm in LA. To me, it's the perfect film. You get what you want out of it. In a strange way it's like listening to old radio shows, you see what you need to see. You are as much your own story teller as Ron Fricke.
I have had every format of this film through the years. VHS, Laser, DVD and now Blu-ray. My wife and I have watched this film more than any movie through the years. We never plan it, we just feel like we need to see it again. Can't wait for the next one. Don Mccuaig (IA member)

I am looking forward to this new film! Loved Baraka and excited to see what new technology can bring to this next version.

I have been waiting with bated breath for so long now, that i am beginning to believe this is a bit of a hoax... I hope not, but since i have been waiting, there has been two films released named Samsara..
One has been released(uploaded) on Youtube Here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R64wA5Xw294
and Samsara the Movie IMDB Here - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0196069/

Is Ron fricke stil naming it Samsara? And can you please tell us when it will be finished?

I only ask, because it is something i have been constantly looking forward to.. :-) :-) :-)

I had just recently got word from my cousin in Western Isreal who helped with the filming of what was meant to be Samsara. Unfortunately the film ended up over-budget and filming has currently been put on hold. I was very unsatisfied when hearing the news, but lets cross our fingers and hope that filming my start again shortly. Either way I don't believe the movie will be released until late 2011 or early 2012 due to the issues being dealt with at the moment.

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Samsara Blu-Ray & DVD

Samsara Blu-ray and DVD
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