Samsara (2011)

4 Mar

Review of the documentary Samsara

How would you feel if you were brought to a museum where you saw a lot of beautiful things, but none of them had signs? You would not be able to tell who made a specific painting or what the story was behind that wooden fork you just saw. Would you be able to enjoy that visit or would you quickly lose interest? That’s the question that came up when I was watching Samsara, which is best described as a documentary which takes the viewer on a journey around the world. Often you will not have an idea where in the world you are though.

Review of the documentary Samsara

Shot in 25 different countries over the course of 5 years, this movie has a varied menu for the viewer. It shows Tibetan monks creating beautiful “sand paintings”, the damage caused by Katrina, natural landscapes and much, much more. Samsara means “continuous flow” and that’s exactly what the movie offers. There is no narrative to latch on to, no specific themes and no climax at the end. It is just beautiful imagery accompanied by, which I would describe as, new age music.

Review of the documentary Samsara

During the first 40 minutes or so I kept wondering what this was all about, wanting more information, wanting a narrative. What was it that this movie was offering me besides some (very) nice imagery and some meditation music? I kept contemplating if I should turn it off, but after those 40 minutes those thoughts left me and the movie got a hold on me. It was almost like moth being pulled towards a flame, I stopped thinking about what I saw and just experienced it and after it finished I have to say I quite enjoyed that. Samsara is not something everyone will be able to enjoy or appreciate, like being dumped in a museum without signs, but I learned to appreciate things just for what they were: beautiful and hypnotizing.

Score: 8

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