A HYPNOTIC SUMMARY OF THE WORLD IN 104 MINUTES
Watching "Baraka" is an unusual experience, closer to a mystic trance
than to a common film-going.
In this hypnotic visual essay, the relationship between Man and
the Earth is explored by photographer Ron Fricke, by means of careful
editing and a haunting series of musics from around the world.
There is no dialogue, no plot, to characters. No actors.
Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack,
the movie draws some surprising connections between various peoples
and the spaces they inhabit, whether that space is a lonely mountaintop,
a crowded cigarette factory or a busy crossroad somewhere in the
The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages; watching
this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images
that transcend language.
Amazing connections are proposed to the viewer by careful editing:
for instance, an early sequence segues between the daily devotions
of Tibetan monks, Orthodox Jews, and whirling dervishes, finding
more similarity among these rituals than one might expect.
Other amazing moments include sped-up footage of a busy Hong Kong
intersection revealing a beautiful symmetry to urban life that could
only be appreciated from the perspective of film.... The director
also invented new photographic devices to be able to obtain the
effects he wanted, playing with slow and fast motion in pictures,
to bring out the regularities in them.
The sense of mesmerizing confusion and de-location is entirely
wanted. Cinematographer Ron Fricke explains that the effect was
intentional: "It's not where you are that's important, it's what's
there." And what's here, in Baraka, is a whole anthropological essay
summed up in 104 minutes... definitely, to be seen!
The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages;
watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage
of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and
set to an ever-changing global soundtrack,
the movie draws some surprising connections between various