Cinematographer: Ron Fricke Line Producers: Myles Connolly, Dileep Singh Rathore, Dylan Voogt Associate Producer: J.C. Earle, Ghassan Salti, Sushil Tyagi, Noah Weinzweig Producer: Mark Magidson Imaging Producer: Christopher Reyna Post Producer: Paul Winze Writer: Mark Magidson Editor: Mark Magidson
The award-winning films Baraka (1992) and Chronos (1985) took the cinematic art to wholly new territory, and few have dared follow. But now those same filmmakers, producer Mark Magidson and director Ron Fricke, have produced a third masterpiece, this one just as epic in scale and implications. The formula: to dispense with narration and plot structure in the usual sense, and to build a visual experience that unfolds through the juxtaposition of mesmerizing images shot in high-resolution 65 mm format using the Panasonic System 65. A compelling original music score propels the sequence forward. As the images unspool, the viewer's mind naturally responds with questions, insights, and epiphanies.
Samsara was shot over five years and in twenty-five countries. The title is a Tibetan word referring to the endlessly revolving wheel of earthly experience. What the film shows are marvels—sacred places, disaster zones, natural wonders, and industrial landscapes. The perspective shifts from the macro (the wheeling mass of Islamic faithful surrounding the cube-shaped Kaaba at Mecca) to the micro (the grains of colored sand that Tibetan monks sprinkle into a cosmos-symbolic mandala).
The film's effect is to provoke in the audience an intensely sensual experience and an involuntary guided meditation, reminding us that here on Earth the human body, mind, and soul are inseparable companions.