Here is a documentary so difficult to describe it’s hard to understand the motivation to watch it never mind to think that you’d like it. A wordless documentary filmed over twenty-five countries in five continents, it’s all about the imagery and the accompanying music so that you may interpret it as you wish. All the images you see are completely magnanimous with every interpretation being as correct as every other as there’s no guiding voice to narrate you to the thoughts of the filmmakers. Instead, you see images that he’s captured over fours of filming on seventy-millimetre film while it transports you around the globe seamlessly. It seemingly melts societies from one place to another showing that there may be differences but we are all the same and suffer similar tribulations.
The best setting was had when I watched this film, thankfully. Although sitting and watching it on a cinema screen would be outstanding as you get to soak in every detail of a film with perfect cinematography, what I had was a living room, two friends and an HD TV. This made us discuss the films imagery and though the beginning was silent between us, it slowly turned into a conversation of each frame we were seeing; whether we were appreciating the details of the imagery, talking about the location or sharing our ideas on the imagery. The cultures it explores make it more and more inspiring for you to do the same in a world so filled with things that we really don’t see in our day to day lives.
Ron Fricke’s completely unbiased imagery is the strongest point of Samsara because, had it had an agenda or some sort of message to push, it wouldn’t nearly be as interesting as it is. It would still be as beautiful but the fact that you’re supposed to view these detailed images of the contemporary world is where the beauty really comes from showing all things of all cultures like recycling, meat production, production lines, disaster zones, monks and so on. It’s a disciplined take on most disciplined ideas within the world never showing emotion nor hearing their words; it even travels to a prison where the inmates dance together then shows their faces through the bars of the prison. It’s an incredibly emotive film that is completely without dialogue.
The music is one of the strong points too. As the music delves from culture to culture, it adds to either the cultural heritage or the importance of the imagery as it goes from quiet, patient plucking to overwhelming and powerful music while the world moves in unison. It’s a fantastic approach to our world that is filled with organisation in so many different ways that no one way is the correct way. The cultivation is captivating, as everything is conducted and controlled to orchestrated perfection to every tiny detail. The film ends by wrapping up the start in such a detailed and respectful way that you can’t but help appreciate and marvel at the people filmed as well as the people filming. A truly individual, dedicated concept that pulls through by seamlessly flowing in perfect harmonic construction.
There’s a behind the scenes that’s quite detailed and some trailers but a bit disappointing considering there’s four years worth of footage.