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.

We are waiting for release also! Thanks for making this kind of films!!
???????????? :))))

I commend you on your quest of "condensing" the essence/beauty and reality of humanity( the deep stuff that no one wants to talk about, that no one can talk about). Thank you. Looking forward to Samsara.

I truly believe that Baraka made me want to become a photographer. I first saw it when I was 16, after seeing the movie I saw things differently. I had never been exposed to any thing like it at all. I realized that capturing powerful/beautiful images was the only thing I ever wanted to do after seeing Baraka. Now I am a professional photographer in Los Angeles (self-taught). I know it sounds cheesy, but Baraka set me along the path to where I am today. I have been waiting for the sequel ever since. Does any one know where it will premier. I would give anything to be in that audience. www.aguiarimage.com www.myspace.com/aguiarimage

I first saw Baraka in a community theatre in Adelaide, SA in the 90's. I was so inspired by it that I saw it again several times. It captivated me completely and I often reflect on the film. My dream is to visit some of the places that Ron and his crew filmed with my family. I have just read that Samsara is being made. I would like to thank Ron and his people for making a sequel to Baraka and I cannot wait to see it. Best regards - Carl.

Be aware that there is a film 'The Samsara' with a Tibetan theme. I nearly ordered it thinking that it was 'our' Samsara!

Whenever I am asked about my favorite movie, I never hesitate to respond with 'Baraka'. It has moved me every single time I've seen it and I believe humankind would be better served if everyone were able to sit down and watch it.

Thank you.

Thanks very much for Baraka film, and many others that use this way of making films. These materials have trained my view of the world towards an amazing and comprehensive level. No words can really explain it.

All these words...your synopsis...it sounds great!!!
Hardly wait the movie !!!
Can you tell me an approximative data,when will be released the film ? Please answer me ! Thank you !

One of the best things about DVDs is you can watch - repeatedly - these wonderful films. The Qatsi trilogy to start, Chronos, and my favorite forever, Baraka. Each viewing reveals another insight, visual, aural, or philosophical. I admire Mr. Fricke's work tremendously and can't wait to see Samsara.

I saw "Baraka" only a few years ago.
Since then, I resaw it countless times.
Afterall, there are some Humans in Humanity...Thank you, Mr Ron Fricke!
We all have phisical organs like eyes, brain, ears. But Human beeings, don't use them equally. To see, to think, or to ear, is nothing if we don't merge feelings and emotions with rational thoughts. Conscience is the emergency that comes out from that, plus our experiences. However, I believe there is an abstract and absolut type of superior Conscience.
Baraka can do us two things: awakes us for that kind of Conscience all humans should have by now, or reminds us what we're here for and reguides us into the path.
Thank You again for you eyes, your brain, and your Conscience!

Well time is moving on and we are heading toward the last quarter of 2006! I was and still am blow away by Brarak. Really looking forward to Samsara. Any indication of a release date yet?

i've come here, following links from a utube clip of the baraka monkey chant,not knowing of samsara and 5 minutes later i am impatient for this sequel. I first saw baraka in the early 90's and it is by a clear margin my absolute favourite film, i couldn't move from my seat to leave the cinema that night, i can still remember the drive home in the dark, looking at all the headlights, knowing that THEY hadn't seen what i'd just witnessed, they didn't know what i now knew. It has burned itself into my mind and remains there to this day. I always have a wry smile when i see a tv advert/pop video/ fancy bit of filming/ same location that has been filmed in the same way, especially night time-lapse just like big K's moonrise and skyscraper moment, but times 100! for instance the tokyo crossroads- copied copied copied, and no credit given EVER to Fricke and Magidson- but we all know don't we...

Is this thing still shooting?

As a huge fan of the Qatsis, Chronos, and Baraka, I eagerly await Samsara--I have also noticed that the "Ashes and Snow" (traveling photography/film exhibit by Gregory Colbert) films have a certain resonance with the Fricke films. It seems to be that Colbert has been inspired by Ron Fricke's work. Great! We all need more work with this spirit.

Never before or after have I experianced a film as I experianced Baraka. After the final chapter I went straight back to the beginning, and ended up watching the film three times in a row. It inspires one to live life, and to further respect life. No other celebration of similar nature equals the superb quality of Baraka. Thank you. I eagerly await the release of Samsara.

i don't even know what to say except wow.

I could only wish and dream to personally witness all those things shown to us collectively in Baraka. If samsara improves on it then I cannot see how anyone could not wish to be a part of the force that wants to create change to bring balance and fairness finally into this world.

All my wishes go to Ron Fricke to create another spiritual masterpiece capable of warming even the coldest of souls out there in this beautiful but sadly corrupted reality we call life.

Peace be with you

Who will be provind the soundtrack to Samsara. I think it would be awesome to hear more Lisa Gerrard. Also, is there a release date in sight?

Thanks, and godspeed

it's almost the end of the 2006 now, so I am expecting that Samsara will not be released until 2007. I'm sure everyone is frustrated with the lack of updates on what's going on but I guess art can't be rushed. I would just like to know if the tenetive release of 2006 has now been puched so I can rest my anxiety. So, Ron Fricke, or someone who knows, please let your audience know, what is the verdict?

Tis now 2007 and there is no word of a release date.

Please Ron lets us know how things are going.

Cheers

Since the first time I watched "Baraka" more than 10 years ago, it became my favourite masterpiece of art. I have recommended this beautiful jewel to everyone, and I love to buy the DVD everytime I need to buy a present. It´s the pinnacle of nature, it shows the essence of mankind and the meaning to life.

We are one. Everything is one. No matter if you die here or there, death is the same. No matter if you live in a tree or in a skyscraper, because you´re living. And a tear is a tear in every part of the world.

In these times of madness and dispair I think it would be a good idea the play Baraka in the schools to show our children that life is much more than a Nike T-shirt or than a 3G Mobile, that our world is bigger than we can imagine, and that people is just people like you and me, no matter how far we life ones from each others....

A movie as amazing as life.

I personally can't wait for Samsara! If it's a quarter as good as Baraka it'll be well worth the wait. I just can hope, with the rest of us here, that it'll be out soon :)

Thanks also for such a great site..

I wonder will Mr. Fricke finalize his ultimate masterpiece in this year. As it says above, Baraka to Samsara will be related as some kind of introduction. We have now great expectations!!! I belive that Samsara will be the move with the potencial to change the view of a world!

mr. Fricke is shooting in New Orleans right now, so maybe the production schedule is pushed pretty far back -

I'm on the edge of my chair waiting to experience Ron Fricke's work in Samsara. His time-lapse cinematography from the early 1990's (Baraka) is the finest I've ever seen. Baraka is simply outstanding! I can only imagine what imagery he's created since then. I've been so inspired by Baraka that I've produced my own time-lapse motion imagery of the cosmos (Cosmotions.com) and hope to be creating exciting new time-lapse clips for the foreseeable future. I only hope to someday achieve a 'Baraka' level of quality in my own work. Ron Fricke is a masterful cinematographer and his imagery has had tremendous impact on the direction of my own creativity.

From past experience in watching films by Fricke and Reggio, the amount of time needed to capture the soul-piercing images with cutting-edge technology and skill is vast. Fricke has progressed so much since the 80s, and I'm willing to wait for the right time when all the elements present themselves. In today's chaotic world (any less so than the 80s and 90s?) many new splendors and horrors must be offering themselves for Fricke's eye and posterity.

I only hope that this movie is released in a high definition format to expose the exquisite detail captured via 70mm... a re-release of Baraka in HD would be equally awsome!

In an entry dated 08-Jan-2007, David from Madrid, Spain, writes:

"In these times of madness and despair I think it would be a good idea the play Baraka in the schools to show our children that life is much more than a Nike T-shirt or than a 3G Mobile, that our world is bigger than we can imagine, and that people is just people like you and me, no matter how far we life ones from each others...."

Not only do I completely agree, but as an instructor at a state college, I make it a point to show this film ever semester to my English 110 students, requiring them to write a journal entry about it, and encouraging them to choose it for writing their critical analysis (one of seven major term papers due each semester) instead of one of the texts we've read. I do this for two reasons: it is a lot more enjoyable to grade (laughs) and because by further reflecting and thinking about the film, it can lead to deeper and more lasting insights.

So then, everybody has to write a journal entry and some students choose to go on and write their critical analysis on the film as well. I've posted excerpts from last semester's journals at http://www.mrrena.com/cutecast/cutecast.pl?forum=5&thread=69 in case you'd like to see how college students react to the experience. Bottom line? With few exceptions, I really think they got it and that is absolutely thrilling to me as an educator. We can sit around and read texts about cultural diversity all semester long, but in about an hour's time, we accomplish more than we do half the rest of the semester. It goes back to "show, don't tell."

I hope, Mr. Fricke, that you check this site from time to time. For years, I have shown my art students ( a population of developmentally disabled adults with mental illnesses) Baraka and Koyaanisqatsi on an annual basis as a source of inspiration, and to illustrate a few ways that subjects can be transformed into art by selection, by portraying them in a certain context, from a certain perspective. I do this periodically partially because a lot of them really require repetition, some have very little memory of such things, and I do get some rotation of the population. I also share the films with everyone who cares to listen or borrow my DVDs.
I finally got my hands on a copy of Chronos and watched it with my classes (ah, yes, I have four, so I get to see them several times in a week's time). I loved it, they loved it, and I thought a thank you was long over due. I can't wait to finally catch one on the big screen, when Samsara is finished.

Thank you for the blessing of Baraka. I hope you find time to visit the beautiful megaliths of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean, which are the oldest standing man-made structures in the world. They would be perfect for Act 3 of Samsara. Sam.

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Samsara Blu-Ray & DVD

Samsara Blu-ray and DVD
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