Samsara

Samsara

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern. 2.9 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
Samsara

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Ron Fricke
Cast .
Studio Arrow Films
Release Date August 2012
Running Time 99 mins
 

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

Reviews

The Guardian

Phelim O'Neill

Questions are provoked then dismissed as we move on, but the themes build up in the mind. It may be just more of the same from Fricke, but with his unique process, another incredible-looking lap around the world is more than welcome.

30/08/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

Samsara, shot in a grand and vibrant 70-millimeter format ... is partly a Sontagian case for sustainability. Or, to adapt the food-obsessed ecological language of the moment, it presents a visual argument for slow looking, for careful, meditative attention to what is seen. A spool of arresting, beautifully composed shots without narration or dialogue, Samsara is an invitation to watch closely and to suspend interpretation.

23/08/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Bookended by the creation and destruction of an incredibly detailed sand painting in a monastery in Ladakh, the film transports us on a epic global journey that takes in natural wonders, disaster zones, cities and industrial complexes and intersperses them with a wide variety of haunting portraits of people indigenous to the various locales.

30/08/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Marc Lee

The heart soars at the majestic aerial shots of Buddhist temples and clifftop monasteries, thunderous waterfalls and the eerie vastness of various desert landscapes; but then it sinks at the sight of poverty-stricken children scavenging perilously on mountains of rubbish, the strange, still-life aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the deeply distressing exposition of the extremes of factory farming.

31/08/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The film's late switch to the West, with its speeded-up images of obese Americans chowing down fast food, makes political points that might be considered a bit trite – especially in the current climate of documentaries bemoaning our descent to hell in a handcart.

31/08/2012

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Empire Magazine

Guy Lodge

Like paging through the world’s largest, most lavish issue of National Geographic, only with more exciting musical accompaniment, it can hardly be beaten for sheer spectacle.

28/08/2012

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Total Film

Sam Wigley

Jaw-dropping in colour and splendour, but if the constant awe gets a bit tiring, at its best you can genuinely feel some great wheel turning.

21/08/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Much of the stop-motion or undercranked camerawork is designed to make crowds into seething anthills and to emphasise the absurdity of repetitive work, and it's rather trying. Still, there are so many remarkable images that there is something every few seconds to provoke or please.

02/09/2012

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The Sunday Times

Olly Richards

Vivid HD footage of the world is now a Sunday-evening staple, usually with a David Attenborough commentary. It’s still hypnotic, but it lacks a sense of otherness, of a world unseen. Television’s documentary output has overtaken it.

02/09/2012

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The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

Children in shanty towns (very Constant Gardener) interrupted by great swathes of rippled desert (very English Patient). I’m certain that the desired effect was not to emerge depressed, but this had that effect. Far from basking in the endless bright imagery, I scurried for the shadowy foliage of the street, for a rest, and – bliss – conversation.

30/08/2012

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

Clearly, [Fricke is] a gifted cinematographer, since the shots of temple dancers, sand-blasted landscapes and teeming metropolitan chaos are often astonishing in their palpable texture and eye-boggling detail. The results, however, amount to little more than a giant flick-book of ‘wow’ moments, because Fricke’s fall-back position, where slow/ancient/natural is good and fast/modern/synthetic is bad, amounts to formulaic eco-preachiness unlikely to sway hearts and minds.

29/08/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

It is directed and photographed by Ron Fricke, the cinematographer of Koyaanisqatsi (1982) and will appeal to the same stoner audience seeking nice pictures and some easily digestible, pre-packaged spiritual insights.

31/08/2012

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