Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience. SAMSARA reunites filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, whose award winning films BARAKA and CHRONOS brought a new visual and musical artistry to theaters. SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.
Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film, SAMSARA transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary. It encourages our own interpretations, inspired by breathtaking images and transcendent music that infuses the ancient with the modern. SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world, from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man’s spirituality and the human experience, and illuminating the links between humanity and the rest of nature.
Ron Fricke is a meticulous filmmaker who has mastered a wide range of skills. In his early work as director of photography, co-editor, and co-writer for Koyaanisqatsi, a renowned nonverbal art film, Fricke experimented with many previously obscure film techniques. He used time-lapse, slow motion, and optical phase printing to present familiar images from a new perspective. Koyaanisqatsi won a 1983 Filmex Audience Award. Indulging his passion for 70mm, and determined to make life-affirming films, Fricke proceeded to direct and photograph Chronos, as well as Baraka, which he also co-wrote and edited. Fricke’s latest film is SAMSARA. Conceived as a guided meditation on the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, SAMSARA is directed, photographed, co-edited, and co-written by Fricke. SAMSARA had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.