Last night I had the great pleasure of watching Samsara; a two hour long film with no dialogue, featuring amazing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart racing, and peaceful imagery depicting all aspects of life. Shot across 25 different cultures, over the space of five years, Samsara shows you the world; nature and man, progress and tradition, religion, war, the grim realities of food production, the love of a mother for her child, of lovers who cherish every second of their limited time together. It shows happiness in poverty, and poverty in wealth. It shows dance and art, and creation, and all things human.
Samsara means continuous flow, or ever-turning wheel of life in Sanskrit, and that is what the film really manages to demonstrate. It is an intimate display of life, death, and the continuity of existence.
Samsara made me feel a million things, but none of them I want to share with you. This is because I feel it is up to each viewer to interpret what they see for themselves. Being a non-narrative film, Samsara does not ask for analysis, nor does it give you structure or concepts. It is open to your interpretation, and it asks for nothing in return.
I think the best way to watch it, is actually not to think about it too much. I began by taking a few notes, as each and every image inspired my mind to whirl around with ideas and inspiration. After a short while I was having far too much of a good time to pause to write my ideas down. The images and sounds became like a meditation, and I felt like my subconscious mind was taking in the imagery without the need to analyze it. Samsara helps you to contemplate in the clearest way possible: to be an observer.
Released in 2011, Samsara was directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Madison. The pair are famed for their other works of a similar nature, such as Baraka (1992).
It is very easy to find Samsara online. A quick search of “watch samsara online” should do the trick, and one of the top links should find you what you are looking for. A HD version is best.
See the trailer here: