Movie review: Samsara

By Columbus Alive
From the October 11, 2012 edition

“Samsara” is unlike any film you will see this year, and it’s unlike any other filmgoing experience you will have. And it most certainly is an experience.

It’s described as a “non-verbal documentary” — there’s no narrative, no actors, just some of the most stunning visuals you’ve ever seen.

A sequel to 1992’s “Baraka,” the film was painstakingly shot in glorious 70mm film in 25 countries over the course of five years. And every bit of that effort shows up on the screen.

There’s a swirling, meditative quality to watching “Samsara” — though what I found almost “spiritual” (for lack of a better word), another may find deadly dull.

But as scenes of nature, culture and urban ant farms compile, I found myself sucked in, entranced for the duration.

You see images disconnected from context. There are no title cards letting you know what (or where) you are watching. What it evokes will vary person to person.

I’m not even sure how to rate this as a film. The experience is closer to viewing an exhibit at a gallery.

It’s basically an issue of National Geographic set in motion. On acid. If that sounds like something you’d like, don’t miss this. And don’t wait for home video … there’s something about seeing a film print of this one.