Baraka (1992)

BarakaAborigineI’ve seen Koyaanisqatsi before, so I had some idea as to what to expect with Baraka: a sort of moving photo-collage about technology, industry and traditional peoples, with no narration and no plot, right? Sort of, yes, but Baraka does it better and without Philip Glass.

I don’t normally use phrases like “stunningly gorgeous,” but this film absolutely fits that description. Each scene is perfectly photographed, every pair of eyes is piercing. With no dialog and no plot, this film still tells an incredibly intense and important story. What we see are shots of different places around the world: mountains, volcanoes, oceans, rivers; structures made by man juxtaposed with structures made by Earth. We see all sorts of different religious practices; the prayers of the whirling dervish next to those BarakaDervishesof Israeli Jews next to Buddhists.

The film never reveals where each shot is taken, so we never know exactly where we are on the Earth, and I think that is exactly the point: this is the story of the Earth and all of its people. Without any narration it manages to show that, though there are many different cultures on earth (and how extremely different from one another they can be) we all have the same human goals; the same human nature. We all have the same urge to create as well as the unfortunate ability to destroy. It touches on BarakaFeatherGuylarge populations in urban locales and small, traditional populations alike. We see people living in the jungle dancing, and we see people working in a cigarette factory. We see the horrors of war and the beauty of death.

You are doing yourself a true disservice by not watching this. It’s really affecting and beautiful. It does its job perfectly, and that’s a true rarity in any cinematic venture.


2 Responses to “Baraka (1992)”

  1. 1 ladyfaceladyface
    January 29, 2013 at 4:53 am

    You don’t like Philip Glass?

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