Baraka: A Spritual Film

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)


Video Clips from the film (From YouTube)

1. The Kecak Dance of Bali Indonesia

2. A snow monkey (at peace)

3. Modern life (maybe why we aren’t at peace)

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7 thoughts on “Baraka: A Spritual Film

  1. Hey,
    there you are! I guess intlxpatr found you too? She was looking for you!
    I would love to see this film. Can one buy it somewhere in KW?
    I am a big fan of beautiful cinematography. I love The Color of Paradise and Children of Heaven.
    Where can I find out about all of the cool events in KW like this?
    I am an English teacher too,although on hiatus presently. 🙂 Thanks for the lovely post. So happy to have found you again!

  2. Sorry, I see now that she indeed found you. Also, about the baraka. I believe there is a hadith or something that says if it weren’t for the animals God wouldn’t be blessing the earth with rain…another reason for vegetarianism, I suppose. 🙂 I love many of the books you have displayed. The Little Prince is an all-time fav. Are there any Sufis in KW? Would love to connect!

  3. You have seen The Color of Paradise? It’s definitely one of my all time favs 😀 😀

    I was invited to this event by a friend, but usually I read about them in The Arab or Kuwait Times.

    There are some places in Kuwait that regularly hold events like:

    Every Monday:
    http://www.darmuseum.org.kw/dar.php?lang=e

    Every Wednesday and Thursday:
    http://www.cinemagics.tv/events.html

    You are an English Teacher? 😀 😀 😀 Why on hiatus?

    Thank youuuuuuu for your sweet words 🙂

  4. Oh and I forgot there’s also:

    http://www.aware.com.kw/html/Sample/Activities.asp?Module=1004&Record=763#763

    There’s a lady there called Iman, I think she can get you a copy of the film.

    Animals do bring all sorts of blessing to our world. Speaking of rain, why hasn’t t rained yet this year 😦 😦 😦

    Every time I read The Little Prince I get something new out of it. The British School Of Kuwait had a performance of it about 7 months ago.

    I’m not sure if there are any Sufis in Kuwait. I haven’t met any yet, …or maybe I have but just didn’t know they were Sufis 🙂

  5. Pingback: Cinemagic to be screening Baraka « Darya

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