Friday, January 21, 2011
Baraka- A Review
Baraka is a visual tone poem of profound spiritual beauty that stirred my soul like few works of art have. It acts as hymn to the thread of life that is weaved from culture to culture . There are no words. Nor need there be any narrative of the sort. All we have is the images presented before us.
Photographed in 70mm and directed by Ron Fricke, who was DP on Koyaanisqatsi-- another film that captures the balance and imbalance between man and nature. This is the type of film made for the Blu Ray. So stunning is the picture quality, that reviews, including Roger Ebert have universally praised this as being the most essential disc out of all of them. If that doesn't make you want to run out and buy your copy, I don't know what will.
The stage on which this work is set? Across 24 countries. From Pygmy funeral rituals to the Egyptian pyramids. This is a world singing with harmonious rhythms created by feathered treetop dwellers and punctured by the harsh crash of a falling tree. A world of Tibetan monasteries and monks meditating through the streets of a bustling crowd. We visit many locations on this third stone from the sun. All of which contain a scenic marker that is either filled with the business of everyday activity or gently soothing in its desolate landscapes.
It is a snapshot of people caught in the midst of their daily rituals and compared to their surroundings, are but passing visitors in a great sea of cultural change. Some seen laying under a bridge for shelter. Some applying tribal paint. Some just trying to get off the subway. It is our world. And as this visual feast shows us, it is one of astounding beauty. In some cases, one of haunting sadness. Baraka accomplishes what most films are unable to. Presenting us a portrait of archetypal imagery that resonates deep in the soul and allows us to see a world beyond words.