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Film: Baraka

If man sends another Voyager to the distant stars and it can carry only one film on board, that film might be "Baraka." It uses no language, so needs no translation. It speaks in magnificent images, natural sounds, and music both composed and discovered. It regards our planet and the life upon it. It stands outside of historical time. To another race, it would communicate: This is what you would see if you came here.

Baraka is a Documentary directed and photographed by Koyaanisqatsi cinematographer Ron Fricke and released in 1992. Its topic is, quite simply, planet Earth itself, and the sentient species that calls it home. The entire movie is nothing but Scenery Porn. Imagine our planet filmed as though it was Pandora and you're halfway there.

Filming was done in 152 locations in 24 different countries around the world. In order to get the full effect, it was shot in the special Todd-AO 70 mm format (using a camera built by Fricke himself), the only film since 1971 to have used such a format, and in 2008 became the first-ever film scanned with 8K resolution.

A sequel, also directed by Ron Fricke and titled Samsara, was released in 2011.

No relationship with that Tarkatan Warrior


Contains examples of:

  • Aside Glance: One of the foundry workers looked at the camera
  • Documentary
  • Humans Are Flawed: A few places are examples of this trope.
  • Match Cut: There's a few of them, which adds to the "connected-ness" theme of the film:
    • The cigarette factor, then the next scene includes a man smoking.
    • A Yazuka man with tattoos all over his body and a South American native boy with body ornaments.
    • A Buddhist light offering is succeeded by an oil fire in Kuwait.
    • Foundry furnaces in Poland are followed by a shot of the ovens in Auschwitz.
    • A flock of bird flying away, as if scared off by the chanting of the Aboriginals.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: A movie example. The movie exists just to show the world we live in.
  • Over Crank
  • Did we mention Scenery Porn?
  • Silence Is Golden
  • Slow Motion
  • Tearjerker: Several sad parts of human life/history/practices are shown.
    • In a chicken farm baby chicks are shuttled by conveyor belt down to where they have their beaks sanded down and marked with dye before being stuffed into cages.
    • The aforementioned death camps.
    • The scenes of homeless people in various cities.
    • The stripper. She looks so young and very sad.
  • Time-Compression Montage
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Done over the opening title.
  • Under Crank
  • The World Is Just Awesome

The Band WagonRoger Ebert Great Movies ListBarry Lyndon
Bad LieutenantFilms of the 1990sBasic Instinct

alternative title(s): Baraka
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