Almost 20 years after Baraka (which will return to the IFI when re-released later in the year), director Ron Fricke has created another visually stunning epic that takes the viewer across the globe, juxtaposing the beauty and splendour of nature with examples of human activity both ridiculous and sublime. As one would expect from Fricke, Samsara is a work of remarkable scale and exquisite imagery.
Filmed over a period of five years in 25 countries, it’s an immersive journey of sound and vision that takes its cue from its title, a Sanskrit word meaning “the ever turning wheel of life”, and follows a loose arc of life, death, and rebirth.
Fricke makes his themes abundantly clear with intelligent editing, making this a superb example of non-narrative documentary. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)