Monday, January 26, 2009


Baraka is an Arabic word, variously translated as 'blessing', 'good luck' and 'essence of life'.

Ron Fricke's film 'Baraka' is 90 narrative-free minutes of beautifully filmed images, accompanied by a sparse 'world music' soundtrack.

Filmed in 1992 on six continents in 24 countries including Tanzania, China, Brazil, Japan, Nepal, the U.S. and Europ, the theme is this planet's diversity and beauty, complemented and contrasted with how animals and humans co-exist and affect it.

Comparisons with Godfrey Reggio's 1983 film, Koyaanisqatsi are inevitable, but it is an altogether more uplifting film. The connections that it makes are intriguing, and (on the whole) unforced and sympathetic. The shots where the camera hovers over people's faces are especially uncomfortable and fascinating.

Fricke says that Baraka was intended to be "a journey of rediscovery that plunges into nature, into history, into the human spirit and finally into the realm of the infinite." I think he achieved his goal.

1 comment:

Can Opener Boy said...


This was on my NetFliz queue and I removed it, not really thinking much about it.

....but now it is back on my queue! Thanks!