Looking At The World With A Different Eye: Samsara (2011)

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
 ― Augustine of Hippo

Not so long ago I watched the movie Samsara for the second time and with different eyes. For those who don’t know anything about this movie, I will try to express my thoughts about it even if I am no film critic and even if I am not the biggest movie enthusiast. Still, there are two reasons why I would like to share my opinion about it: firstly, Samsara is not a mainstream movie and secondly, it conveys a set of messages that other mainstream movies lack.


To begin with, in Sanskrit, the word ‘samsara’ means the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound/ the ever turning wheel of life. At this point, this should be enough to figure out what the movie is going to be about, but here comes the catch: it is filmed in twenty-five countries, on five continents and without any script, actors or any particular story. Contrary to other mainstream movies, this one is a non-verbal documentary that stimulates the viewer to interpret the imagery and music of different ages and places in the world. In short, Samsara is portraying the world around us by using pictures and short sequences of different people, landscapes, cultures, religions, etc.


Besides seeing all the traditions and realities that the movie presents, what I believed was that after watching it, you have a feeling that you managed to travel a big part of the planet in an hour and a half, and you want to see more of it. Samsara made me realise that our planet has so much to offer and sometimes we are not aware of it. There are many places in this world that transmit so much only by being there, meeting the locals or by knowing the history. And in my view, these are some things that all of us should have the opportunity to be aware of. I genuinely think that there is so much more some of us should know about the world surrounding us and there is also a need for people to encourage that. And I felt that Samsara does that in a way that catches the eye and the attention of the audience. It is an interesting sensation to watch a movie not for the script or for the story, but also for what it is showing; in this case, the pictures are worth a lot more than words and the viewer can draw his own conclusions about what the movie is portraying, without having to wait for any climax or any particular ending.


Overall, even if one wants to travel but cannot necessarily be physically present in a place, Samsara offers the opportunity to see the world with different eyes and inspires you to explore even more. Fortunately, there are a couple of more movies like this one, for example Chronos, Baraka or the Qatsi Trilogy (which are next on my ‘to see movie-list’), and from my point of view they are worth watching and sharing with others. I might not be the best travelled or informed person, but I know I want to find out as much as I can about what is happening globally, and I also know that there might be other people like me out there. So, if anyone is interested in this kind of movies and experiences, I warmly recommend Samsara.


 


Enjoy, and until next time open your eyes and ears to what the world has to tell you!

By: Ioana-Alexandra Tache 

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