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Film / Baraka

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"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 were 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:

  • The '80s: The clothing styles as shown in the subway scenes scream this.
  • Aside Glance: One of the Polish foundry workers briefly looked at the camera.
  • Book Ends: The movie begins and ends with an eclipse and a showcase of various religions.
  • Cultural Blending: Some of the music are played by instruments from different countries. A music piece would be played by various instruments.
  • Humans Are Flawed: A few places are examples of this trope.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Most of the busy, urban scenes take place in Japan, as do the assembly lines for computer parts, giving an impression of this.
  • Match Cut: There's a few of them, which adds to the "connected-ness" theme of the film:
    • At the beginning, the Japanese macaque in the hot spring suddenly lift its head up and we get a briefly glimpse of the moving starfield.
    • A Buddhist light offering is succeeded by an oil fire in Kuwait.
    • Advertisement:
    • A flock of bird flying away, as if scared off by the chanting of the Aboriginals in the previous scene.
    • The cigarette factory, 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.
    • Foundry furnaces in Poland are followed by a shot of the ovens in Auschwitz.
  • National Geographic Nudity: The children of Caiapó Village in the Amazon are wearing nothing but brightly colored sashes made of strings. One close panning shot showing them holding hands incidentally highlights that their genitals are uncovered.
  • Nightmare Face: The Kabuki actress after the chicken scene gives a truly horrifying one.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The movie exists just to show the world we live in.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Viewers would notice some details they haven't notice before.