I admire cinematographer Ron Fricke for his ability to tell incredibly complex stories using an extremely limited storytelling toolkit. Weaving narratives from stunning visuals, he show rather than tell stories. Relying entirely on moving images to communicate the message, his films are stripped of layers of opinion; speaking in a universal language, they get to the very essence of the subject.
Filmed over five years in 25 countries, Samsara is no exception. A successful marriage between documentary and fiction, it presents us with a world we never knew we inhabit.
Encompassing a kaleidoscope of issues from natural and man-made disasters to mass-production and mass-consumption, the narrative floats coherently, each new episode enriched in its meaning by the previous and the following ones.
Considered and executed with astonishing precision, every scene is a treasure. Often condensing hours of footage into a single shot, the film allows us to experience time on screen, witness movement of light that we never had patience to notice in our day-to-day surroundings. Nevertheless, the overall pictures takes a slow pace, letting narrative to unfold and accumulate its power within each scene and allowing the viewer to experience the piece, to digest it, not simply swallow.