Spirit of Baraka
(with lots of pictures from he movie)
Info from: Spirit of Baraka Website:
Baraka, Ron Frickes visual masterpiece, released in 1992, 93 minutes.
An incredible journey through 6 continents, 24 countries. Painstakingly shot on Todd AO-70mm film.
Created by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, with music from Michael Stearns, Dead Can Dance and Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery.
Baraka is an ancient Sufi word, which can be translated as "a blessing, or as the breath, or essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds."
For many people Baraka is the definitive film in this style. Breathtaking shots from around the world show the beauty and destruction of nature and man. Coupled with an incredible soundtrack including on site recordings of The Monks Of The Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery.
Baraka is evidence of a huge global project fueled by a personal passion for the world and visual art. Working on a reported US$4 million budget, Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, with a three-person crew, swept through 24 countries in 14 months to make this stunning film.
One of the very last movies shot in the expensive TODD-AO 70mm format, Ron Fricke developed a computer-controlled camera for the incredible time-lapse shots, including New York's Park Avenue rush hour traffic and the crowded Tokyo subway platforms.
Some people find the lack of context occasionally frustrating, not knowing where a section was filmed, or the meaning of the ritual taking place. However, the DVD version includes a short behind-the-scenes featurette in which cinematographer Ron Fricke explains that the effect was intentional. "It's not where you are that's important, it's what's there."
The DVD also includes behind the scenes footage, including scenes of the grueling shoot at Ayer's Rock in Australia, when a plague of flies of Biblical proportions made it impossible to film until they rigged up a vacuum to suck the bugs away from the lens.
(â€¦) The quality of the cinematography is outstanding. Shots flip from solitary Monks to crowded streets from great temples to images of war firing a hundred and one thoughts in your mind that you never complete.
The film is not just about what you are seeing. It is also about how it is presented. Shots of monks will make you grab your backpack and head for Asia as soon as the film finishes, but you never make it as the shots of post war Kuwait and the refuse dumps of Calcatta remind you that us humans are far from perfect.
The decision to use the Todd-70mm format film could never have been easy. The extra cost and work is clearly worth it though, it leaves its mark against all of the other films.
Visual images include...
Tibetan monks, Orthodox Jews, Whirling Dervishes, a solar eclipse, Buddhist monks, African tribal rituals, Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, rain forests, Ayers Rock, Big Sur country, Hawaiian volcanoes, Brazilian slums, time-lapse footage of car and pedestrian traffic, post-Persian Gulf War shots of Kuwait's burning oil fields, burning-of-the-dead ceremonies on the Ganges, refuse dumps of Calcutta, Auschwitz, Egyptian Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Mount Everest, Tuol Sleng in Cambodia, Indonesian factory workers.
AVI File Details
Filesize.....: 699 MB (or 716,062 KB or 733,247,488 bytes)
Runtime......: 01:36:37 (173,740 fr)
Video Codec..: DivX 5.0
Video Bitrate: 848 kb/s
Audio Codec..: 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 155 kb/s (77/ch, stereo) VBR
Frame Size...: 576x256 (2.25:1) [=9:4]
[699.28 Mb] [Stats
This is really an amazing piece of art. Meditative, full of energy, transcendent, mind-expanding. A flood of rich and powerful pictures, illustrating the beauty and the ugliness of this world. This one is likely to stick with you for a long time after watching it ...