an image to view the Blu-ray
screenshot with 1080p resolution
difficult film to try and describe. It's not a traditional film in any
the word. It's a modern day silent film in that it uses music and
tell its story to an audience and that's only one element of the film
consider. There is no voice over. There is no one there to be
interviewed or to
elaborate or to discuss the imagery. There is simply the film, the
emotion, and the experience. The film is part documentary and part
exploration from filmmaker Ron Fricke (Baraka).
film was shot all over the word.
The filmmakers went all around the world to document a variety of
landscapes, places, and other aspects of our world. They went and
Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Namibia, the
Thailand, Africa, Denmark, Egypt, France, Ghana, Israel, Saudi Arabia,
Korea, Turkey, and the United States. They likely filmed in other
too. It's a long list of places they went to and filmed and explored.
something that is hard to even wrap your head around. These were
filmmakers, documentarians, and explorers charting out to make their
and story be told.
thing about this film is that it
is literally unlike any other documentary that I can think of. Perhaps Baraka is the closest comparison, as it's
also a story that is told through imagery. The difference (according to
director Ron Fricke) is that Baraka
was concerned with the beauty of our planet and Samsara
is concerned with showing us both the beauty and the terror
of human nature on our planet and how the two can interconnect. Samsara
to several different things depending upon the language used but the
a world that revolves in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It also
suggests a journey.
film is a journey and it is an
exploration of life, death, and rebirth. I suppose that makes it an
title for the film. This film will take you on a journey unlike
before it, and that certainly makes it stand out as a unique cinematic
It is a journey across the world and into a deeper mediation and
human existence on this planet.
element exploring life, death,
and rebirth is a bit trickier to try and convey in a straight line of
and expression. The film shows us in its unique visual style the way in
human nature has a tendency to create (or give birth), to destroy (or
start over again (or move beyond). The filmmakers of Samsara
have created something unique here. This is philosophical,
and meditative filmmaking all at the same time.
the most brilliantly executed works of art in photography that I've
and that is certainly an accomplishment that should be recognized.
Unquestionably, I consider this to be a great work of art and a
in filmmaking and photography. Yet I wonder about the message of the
some of the intent of the filmmakers.
complex and unusual documentary
shows us some of the most beautiful locations around the world. It
takes us to
some truly astounding places and it brings us some of the greatest and
surprising visuals in all of cinema. It shows us some of the beauty of
of human existence.
also shows us some of the most
disturbing images in the history of film. It makes it difficult to
the PG-13 rating (something which should be considered by most parents)
is certainly a film that should be viewed by a more mature audience.
imagery of a machine designed to suck up living chicken, cut off their
shave them, and put them into a hanging line for food manufacturing.
is imagery of pigs as long and
big as ten feet that must have been fed something to make them grow so
that they can have ten or more young pigs feeding on them before being
processed by a large mechanical machine that slaughters them, processes
and hangs their carcasses while employees begins to use a variety of
to make the bacon sold in stores. This is not touching on every element
disturbing imagery. It is too much. I wish the film hadn't been so
I certainly did not expect for the filmmakers to include this graphic
in the documentary.
film, as I said, also shows some
of the most beautiful images. It shows us people embracing. It shows us
natural beauty of many landscapes around the world. The film contains
beauty and darkness of our world. It
shows dancers capable of some of the most artistic forms found in
shows us sped-up life in a way that in both fascinating and
amazes me by how much wonder there is in this film too and in seeing
like beautifully created church cathedrals and mass worship as people
think Ron Fricke means to show us
how much beauty there is in the world and how our own modernization of
and our shift towards "perfecting" our everyday lives has led us into
sight of the good things in our world. Samsara
seems to be a warning to us all that our world could collapse, die, and
start over if we aren't careful: that our entire world's outcome may
face rebirth if we continue to destroy our planet and the human race.
seems to be a highly
pessimistic outlook on humanity. I don't find it comforting that a
capable as Ron Fricke would seem to go to such great lengths to make a
suggesting that humanity as a whole could
face a downfall and the earth would essentially need to start over
course, this is my own interpretation of Samsara.
I imagine some viewers will have a different reaction.
found the film to be brilliantly
executed but it left me feeling cold. I would much rather try to feel
optimistic about our world even though I know that there are several
made by Ron Fricke's film (even without words) that are nothing more
reflections of our own global culture and societal processes. Roger
it to be "an uplifting experience" (as said directly on the box art). I
it to be disheartening, at least to an extent.
that was part of the point.
the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. This Blu-ray
one of the best presentations I have ever seen. The imagery is crisp,
and near perfection: it literally stuns at every turn. The photography
cinematography and filmmaking techniques in making Samsara have allowed
this to be an absolutely demo-worthy disc with vibrant colors and
clarity. The film was filmed and edited using 8K UltraDigital HD and
shown in select theaters with 70mm film prints. This Blu-ray preserves
exquisite quality in presentation and in the theatrical aspect ratio of
DTS-HD Master Audio presentation is an almost equal match in high
is an almost entirely "silent" film in that there is no narration or
or any spoken dialogue to be found throughout the entire film. However,
relies heavily upon music to tell a story. The mood and atmosphere of
the film is
reliant upon the score composed by Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard, and
De Francisci. The clarity and depth is astonishing and adds to a
trance that the film creates in the presentation.
supplements include a detailed and involving Behind the
Scenes section that includes several featurettes covering
various aspects of
the film: The Concept, The Production,
The Editing, The Musical Journey, The Technical Approach, and The
behind the scenes section contains forty-nine minutes of material (all
is presented in High Definition). This is an in depth look at the film
quite as informative as some may be hoping to find). It's a good
material relevant to those with a greater interest in the making of Samsara, and it's covering all of the
sections as noted above (and selectable separately if someone wants to
select segments at a given time).
also contains an Internet Teaser and Theatrical Trailer for Samsara.
the most unusual experimental documentaries I have ever seen. The
behind Baraka has crafted a film that
showcases both the beautiful and disturbing. This is a contemplative,
meditative, and philosophical film. It deftly blends music and image.
I'm not sure I understand the film's message and if I do,
I am unsure if I want to wholeheartedly agree with what I felt
found this to be a fascinating work
of art but it is also something that would not lend itself to repeat
for myself. I know others may disagree and that some may even consider
this as a
demo worthy disc to share with others (the picture quality and
incredible - it's only the beginning of 2013 and I know this will go
down as one of the best Blu-ray presentations of the year). Even though
this is a technically brilliant film and an impeccably
crafted one, I would suggest renting it first.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.