Baraka - An Observational Documentary


                    The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages; watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling series of images. What does a movie without dialogue, conversation or plot leave you feeling. Thanks to the scientific revolution pioneered by Galileo and Newton, we as a race now demand and expect explanations, Baraka provides neither. What it does provide, are moments. Moments that we normally experience while we are in deep vacation mode.

               No, you don’t necessarily need to be on vacation to be in deep vacation mode. It is that state of mind that makes you receptive to new experiences, new ideas, new perspectives.  Baraka  has stunning visuals shot around the world in 24 countries, that invoke a deep breath and even deeper thoughts. And in its essence, it is all about the moments.

             Like the shot of the iguana, and his stony presence, over millions of years, witness to much of the evolutionary changes around him, to the extent that it now endangers its own existence.

            Like the shots of the Auschwitz camps, scenes of genocide, the burning oilfields – exposing the ravages of war and the savages that perpetrate them.

           Like the shots of the urban chaos and its underbelly, the children of a lesser God, going about their lives with half a smile and the hope to get through today so that they can awake to a better tomorrow.


          Just because the film is without commentary doesn’t mean that it doesn’t speak to you. It conveys  effortlessly the devotion of those in prayer. It conveys the suffering. It conveys effortlessly the irony and stupidity. It conveys above all the pricelessness of existence, no matter how routine or devoid of worldly pleasures. That explains why even the poorest of the poor can still afford a smile.

          The film isn’t just about brilliant cinematography.It has intelligent positioning of footages with unrelated scenes. Like showing people bustling along busy city streets and train stations and immediately cutting to a conveyor belt at a chicken farm.While these themes are central and in your face, equally powerful is the background score, and a near perfect capture of close sounds, like the  roar of fire at the oil wells, the indistinguishable bustling sounds of people in motion.

          Baraka is a journey of rediscovery. It is the power, the beauty and the rage of life itself. It is the world we live in.

Here is the documentary:

Baraka - Imdb

1 comment:

வருணன் said...

The presentation is near perfect. The choice of word beads makes a lovely locket here. The flow of language is in perfect sync with the flow of thoughts. Cheers.