Filmed over five years and in 25 countries, visual mastery of the cinematic form is set to be perfected with Ron Fricke’s sequel to “Baraka”.
In 1992, “Baraka” was released. A non-narrative, non-verbal documentary which relied on cinematographic prowess to jaw-drop audiences. Ron Fricke looked to evoke emotion through pure cinema, and he did. It is a truly global experience juxtaposing and corroborating the man-made and natural world through the visual medium in order to ask some pretty big questions. If you have not seen “Baraka”, I implore you to. Cinematographically, it is like an Attenborough documentary on steroids.
After a very long wait, Ron Fricke’s truly unique cinematic experience returns with its sequel, “Samsara”. Like “Baraka”, Samsara is a non-narrative, non-verbal documentary filmed entirely on 70mm film. “Samsara” is the first film in over a decade to be filmed with this format, and one of only a handful ever. This is of significance because it allows the creation of an unrivaled experience with its immense amount of clarity and detail. In mainstream cinema, Christopher Nolan partially indulged in 70mm filming with “Inception”. Additionally, much like “Baraka”, “Samsara” promises to deliver another powerful original score to provide the perfect compliment to the visuals and create an all-encompassing experience.
“Samsara” is to follow similar themes to “Baraka”. It will explore life, and the relationship and parallels between our world and the natural world. Ron Fricke has created this documentary in the hope this ‘meditation’ will allow the audiences to take their own meaning from the film. With no narrative making the film seem somewhat ambiguous to some, it is possible that the lack of structure will alienate some cinema goers. Nevertheless, “Samsara” deserves attention.
US theatrical releases are already announced for August 24th. The UK and rest of the world have been promised release dates, but no theatres as of yet. However, when they are announced, I will be first in line to view this unique presentation of the cinematic medium in the only suitable place to do so.