Review: SAMSARA

by Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (out of 5 Reels)

This film is something out of the normal Hollywood realm and honestly, that is why I wanted to see it.  Plus when I read  that the creators  filmed it over a period of five years, in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film I was hooled, because I have a background in photography and visual arts.

This film doesn’t have any dialogue, narration, acting or plotline. Instead we get methodically chosen music to fit the mood of the scene.  SAMSARA transports the viewer into varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.  I was particularly struck by the images of thousands upon thousands of people worshiping in Mecca.  Most people don’t realize that Christianity is the major religion in this world, and it is amazing to see worship on such a grand scale.  Another scene that quite honestly disturbed me was a man sitting in a chair who then proceeds to apply layer upon layer of gray paste and other paint to his face.  He seemingly goes crazy before our eyes and I felt this scene was unwarranted and didn’t fit into the overall tone of the film.

 

While there are no special effects to speak of, there is majesty in scenes being composed and filmed on 70mm because everything is crisp and clear; spectacular.  Having a background in photography and visual arts, I appreciate seeing such beautiful scenery and attention to detail.  That being said, there are some somewhat disturbing and thought provoking scenes here as well, especially those done in disaster zones and industrial complexes.  Seeing hundreds of people processing chicken and other food products in China for the masses on a seemingly massive scale is eye opening.  I was worried they might show scenes of killing the chickens before being processed, but luckily they refrained.

All in all, I did enjoy this film and would recommend it to someone looking for a different kind of  movie experience, beyond the mind numbing dribble that Hollywood is known to produce.  This film, ultimately, gave me a renewed wonder for the world and a need to travel to more exotic locations.

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