Archive Review – Samsara (2012 Ron Fricke)

Imagine if there were a celestial-being watching us from above, from the side, from below, from within, from every possible point of view. Rather than watching (which probably evokes a sense of creepiness here), perhaps it is more appropriate to imagine it viewing us unobjectively. Samsara, with all its zen invocations by virtue of its title’s meaning, is more a sociological examination than a meditative experience. In a similar vein to Koyaanisqatsi or Baraka, we have here an envisioning of the world we live in. But add to that the most up-to-date camera technology and the context of recent landmark historic events. It is an unmissable film for those interested in the state of the planet right now: what are people eating? what are people building? how are we honoring our dead? how are we using technology? how are we protecting ourselves? how are we expressing ourselves? It certainly is a sensory extravaganza (to go all sensational quoting on your ass!) but more importantly, it is a fascinating and thoroughly engaging visual narrative on life on earth as it is in the modern day. The score was just perfect too.

Rated 4/5 ♦♦♦♦

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