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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on October 24, 2015
The copy I received had many artifacts, and needed to be returned. I think it was just that disc. I have seen a friends and it was excellent.
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on October 12, 1999
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on August 29, 2002
As a great fan of that poem of pure cinematography Koyaanisqatsi, I bought and viewed Baraka because it had been recommended as being along the same lines. Well, yes, some of the scenes (and the general concept) seem to be practically copied from Koyaanisqatsi, but in general, my reaction is that while Koyaanisqatsi is one of those rare works of pure inspiration, Baraka is simply a work of pretention. It could be an emblem for the New Age generation, in its skin-deep grasp of spiritual traditions, juxtaposed on the screen simply because some visual aspect of the previous scene resembles a visual aspect of the current scene, but with no appreciation of the underlying meaning of what is depicted within the cultural context. Even the sound track almost completely ignores any authentic musical heritage associated with the images shown. Where the cinematographer of Baraka seems to have been attempting to portray continuity or perhaps universality of the spiritual life and its artifacts and rites, in fact the result is little more than visual punning. It takes great commitment and devotion of years of study and practice to plumb the depths of any spiritual path, and no facile movie presentation of a string of pretty images like a smorgasbord of plastic hors d'oeuvres is going to reveal any important spiritual messages.
However, like New Age "fast food spirituality" fare, while there is nothing there to be taken very seriously, hopefully some pretty and stimulating images (extraordinarily beautiful photography!) may inspire curiousity in some viewers to look into the briefly presented phenomena in more depth. In this way, the movie may end up making a cultural contribution after all.
The 2 stars are for the gorgeous photography, and the missing 3 stars are for lack of interesting (or any) content.
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on July 5, 2001
Being a BIG fan of Ron Fricke, I can't honestly give this 5 stars. Why? Well, 2 reasons. For one, by his own standards, Fricke has done a lot more in nearly every one of his other projects (with the only exception perhaps being the shorts series). What do I mean by more? Experimentation. Stepping a little further into the unknown, doing the undone. The other reason I can't give it 5 stars is because, despite the fact that by other standards it is far from mainstream, by Fricke's own standards it feels like it. Look at it like this: If you want a deep look into original Cinematography, get any of his other projects. However, if you're coming from a normal background, this movie can really move you in that sense. It's more of a "Greatest Hits", really. It shows off a little bit of everything, but at the sacrifice of depth. There ARE a few moments that deserve thier own viewing, and if you have seen ANY of Fricke's other projects then don't miss this one, but otherwise, if you want to see the same thing more or less, but in much greater depth, check out the rest of his work.
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on September 3, 2002
I liked this DVD "okay". It was good, but not fantastic, and NOT in the same league as Koyaanisqatsi's visuals and music. I was hoping for something a lot like Koyaanisqatsi, and this is "somewhat" similar.
Instead of so many beautiful nature scenes, Baraka focuses more on the human element. Sometimes this is wonderful, like the monkey chant, and sometimes it disturbed me, like watching workers slice baby chicken's beaks off. From the title, which means "blessing", I didn't expect the darker elements to be there, and I didn't appreciate them. (I'm pretty sensitive to seeing animals in pain and/or treated as objects, so whole "chicken" section bothered me quite a bit) I don't see the blessing in mutilating baby birds... It is certainally real, but I just don't see how that fits in with the "blessing" theme I thought it was supposed to have judging from the film's description.
The music was also not nearly as rich and moving as it is in Koyaanisqatsi. I found myself bored more than once. Koyaanisqatsi holds me enraptured from start to finish, no matter how many times I see it.
But some portions of it are great, and I suppose I'm glad it's in my library, and on DVD so I can simply skip the parts that bother me. If I'd seen this at a friend's house first, I would not have bought it for myself, however.
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on December 27, 2002
Sorry, but I see this film not as a unique new view of the world, nor a unique way of filming the world, making a statement, etc.
This is really just a Koyaanisqatsi/Powasqatsi wannabe.
The film looks like it was made in the same locations, many of the camera angles are the same, even the dump scenes are virtually identical. True there are some very unique perspectives, but overall the degree of similarity makes this very nearly plagaristic.
Do yourself a favor. Buy Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi. Rent Baraka if you want to see it, but save your $$ for the "real McCoy."
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on June 28, 2003
This film is, to me, nothing more than an exquisitely endered screen saver. Its 'message' is simple, trite and after a while repetitive. It is a good advertisement for bourgois holiday makers looking for 'gritty... oooh magawd!' holiday experiences. A higher 'new age vacuity' quotient than should be allowed in a feature length film.
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