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Samsara (2012)Samsara (2012)

           According to Wikipedia,"in popular use, Samsara may refer to the world (in the sense of the various worldly activities which occupy ordinary human beings), the various sufferings thereof; or the unsettled and agitated mind through which reality is perceived." That's a pretty good description of Ron Fricke's "non-verbal documentary" film. There's no dialogue, narration, or script, only the stunning images of human life on earth with all its blessings and sorrow, tragedy and terror, beauty and goodness, accompanied by haunting music. Scenes of unadorned natural beauty like starry nights, water falls and desert dunes are interspersed with every manner of human activity, like military parades, industrial food production, cosmetic surgery, African village life, an opera, garbage pickers beside bulldozers in third world land fills, etc. Significant portions of the film are explicitly religious — monasteries carved into rock cliffs, Orthodox Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Christian cathedrals and baptisms, the Muslim pilgrimage to the al-Haram mosque, and red-robed Buddhist monks making the intricate sand sculpture of the wheel of life. Filmed over five years in twenty-five countries, it's a testament of the power of image to enlighten our human story.

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