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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2008
UPC: 0030306785899
Original Release: 1993
Rating: NR
Source: Mpi Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:37:00
Sales rank: 36,330

Special Features

Baraka: A closer look; Restoration

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Baraka
1. Opening Title [3:31]
2. Nepal Morning [2:47]
3. Meditation [5:37]
4. Balinese "Monkey" Chant (Kecak) [3:59]
5. Volcanoes / Organics [5:50]
6. Body Adornment [2:19]
7. Dance [2:47]
8. Water Journey [3:06]
9. Destruction [3:32]
10. Brazil Favela / Cigarette Factory [4:51]
11. Subway Riders / Monk With Bell [2:29]
12. City and Manufacturing [6:55]
13. Chickens [3:03]
14. Calcutta Foragers / Homeless [:40]
15. Street Travelers / Buto Dance [4:09]
16. War / Oil Fires [3:06]
17. Steel Workers / Death Camps [3:14]
18. Tiananmen Soltar / Stone Figures [4:39]
19. Varanasi Sunrise [6:01]
20. Eclipse / Sacred Journey [6:50]
21. Rotating Starfields [6:49]
22. End Credits [4:23]

Customer Reviews

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Baraka 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi, I need to tell you this - ''I could watch this movie many times on the cinema, or on my own home. So, I think it is MAGICAL!!!!! In special, you must hear it, with your eyes closed... Firstly, take a breath, because it is simply the best sensation for your soul..... Enjoy it!!!!!!''
Guest More than 1 year ago
As part of the extra features in the DVD, the director talks about the making of the film. He states he ''had to make the film'' and that he felt ''connected''...exactly how I felt after viewing the film, ''connected''. We may live in different countries, practice different religions, appear differently; but looking at ''the big picture'', life, death, happiness, sadness, nature, the world around us all, we are all connected. The world is getting smaller. We are all affected by eachother and every thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For the past eight years I have shown BARAKA to over 1000 high school students in my World Studies course. I even convinced all of my World Studies teachers to show it at the beginning of the school year to give the sophomores an introduction to world cultures. By the time they come through my door their senior year, some still talk about it and how BARAKA became the favorite "school" film they've seen. Great cinamtography and music. A MUST!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Baraka is by far one of the most beautiful films ever created, as said in all of the previous reviews. I know the fact that it is non-narrative may turn most people away, but rather than looking at this as a 'movie', view it as a collection of moving pictures that have the ability to bring anyone to tears. You have to be somewhat creative to appreciate this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The video of Baraka was so fascinating. Once you watch it, you will want to buy for family and friends. I would recommend this video for anyone. St. Louis, MO
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carl Sagan once said ''there are many ways of being human''. Baraka cellebrates the diverse cultures and landscapes of our plannet. It hard to imagine someone seeing this movie and not being moved to tears. Baraka is nothing less than an act of worship twords life itself
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember seeing this movie in the theatre when it was first released and I can still remember the captivating imagery and brillant camera angles! It's truly a film to remember and something that everyone should have in their collection...esp. on those days when you can't find any beauty in the world. Baraka will remind you...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie would be worth it just to see the beautiful shots of world-wonder monuments, foreign cultures, and stunning nature. It makes me want to go and see it all in person, even more than before! This film is more than eye-candy though. There are several parts that really focus in on the human condition, from the miseries of poverty and population explosion, to the unpleasant side-effects of industrialization and luxury (the chicken-farming bit comes to mind). Such topics have never been so mesmerizing, however. It doesn't feel like preaching, more like an awareness of what is going on far away. I didn't find myself so much flinching, but rather marveling at all i had never seen. A marvel: that is my best in-a-nutshell description of this film. Intellectually i knew most of these things existed, but here they are vivid. the camera often abandons the macro-vision to show you one or two people that belong to the scene, posed and staring into the camera. just staring into their faces, you can see the personality behind the eyes, reinforcing the feeling that 'people are people everywhere'. This movie is the next best thing to seeing all these things in person. And I only have it on vhs! i can't wait to get the wide-screen dvd and see what i've been missing on the sides.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful and amazing films I've seen. It's scope, vision and editing and music is unparalleled. A better film than Koyaanisqatsi.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is in my opinion the best cinematography our world has to offer. After watching it once you'll want to start it over and watch it all again. This film has inspired my own art through its breath taking images and music. Although the DVD and its new transfer don't come close to seeing the 70mm print in the theater, it is a definite must have. If you ever get the opportunity to see the 70mm print, rearrange your plans and go see it!
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