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"Samsara": A Cinematic Meditation

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Two decades after rewriting the language of documentary filmmaking in the groundbreaking Baraka, director Ron Fricke and writer-producer Mark Magidson are adding the next chapter with Samsara. After a series of film festival premieres, it’s now arriving in theaters.Shot on 70-mm film, capturing cycles of nature and rhythms of urban life and destruction with time-lapse photography, 1992’s Baraka was a cinematic landmark. The filmmakers worked without words or narration to illustrate Baraka — a word encompassing meanings from “blessing” to “breath of life” in Hebrew and Arabic languages.Atmospheric music accompanied Baraka’s portraits of children, spiritual seekers, and the spectrum of human beings in between. It filled the screen with panoramas of remote jungles, pristine canyons, World Heritage Sites, clogged cities, and mass-produced consumerism. It spanned ancient rituals and modern wars to offer a lesson both inspiring and cautionary about becoming more mindful about the planet we live on.“Samsara is a different film, made 20 years later,” said Magidson on the eve of the Maui Film Festival, where he …

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