• James Rutherford

'Samsara': An Enthralling Visual Exposé of Mankind's Delicate Coexistence With the Natural World


Movie poster for the documentary Samsara from filmmaker Ron Fricke

"Samsara" (2011) is an extraordinary non-narrative documentary film that captures images and varied footage from around the globe, spanning twenty-five countries on five continents and filmed over the course of five full years of global expedition.


The film's title is derived from Tibetan word for "The ever-turning wheel of life", and true to this epithet it explores many remarkable elements of the natural world in concurrence with varying forms of human enterprise. With the aid of a wonderfully ethereal musical score by Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard & Marcello De Francisci, we travel far and wide, majestic 70-mm camerawork capturing exceptional displays of beauty, pageantry and human endeavor.


Book-ended with intimate footage of Tibetan monks crafting an elaborate sand mandala, ultimately swept away as a reminder of the impermanence of life, "Samsara" carries its message of appreciation to the screen with patience and remarkable grace. Director Ron Fricke ("Baraka", "Chronos") continues his exploration of mankind's relationship to the Earth, delivering to the screen an achingly beautiful testament to our home planet.

 

View the trailer: