What a magical night it was last night! The soothing breeze didn’t let go of its embrace all night. With my mind clear, my heart light, my soul at ease it was the perfect night to watch “Baraka”.
Baraka is the first film of a “3 Evening Events” that ‘The Culture Sector Office’ of The Grand Mosque of Kuwait is hosting to promote inter cultural understanding.
And Baraka did exactly that. With no narration, no dialogue, no words, mere images choreographed with an enchanting music, it took your mind on a sensual journey in and out of people’s beliefs, rituals, and vices. Unlike other films where one passively takes in the storyline as it is dictated to them, with Baraka one has to connect to their personal soul, cultural knowledge, and openness to interpret the mélange of the audiovisual messages.
I’m still lost in my interpretation; still mesmerized by the beauty and the “Baraka” of our world, still at awe at our lost souls dwelling in coffin-like “homes”; still perplexed by the skull-museum of genocide victims, still at awe by the connectedness of world rituals-of our collective conscious; still trying to figure out the messages in the eyes of the snow monkey in the hot springs of Japan, in the eyes of the aborigine in Australia, , in eyes of the 3 kids of Yanomami Tribe, in the eyes of the girl from Iran, in the eyes of the monk…and in my eyes.
Still have 1 question in mind: Are we losing God’s Baraka?
More Info about the film:
Baraka was shot in the following countries: Alaska, Arizona, Australia, Brazil, California, Cambodia, Colorado, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kina, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, New Mexico, Peru, Poland, Thailand, Turkey & USA.
PLOT SYNOPSIS (taken from ALLMovie)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Masai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns.
Images from the film (taken from Spirit of Baraka)
1. The Kecak Dance of Bali Indonesia
2. A snow monkey (at peace)
3. Modern life (maybe why we aren’t at peace)