Samsara would dazzle you--if you have not seen Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi made some 35 years ago--with Fricke as the cinematographer and Reggio, a monk-turned-filmmaker, the director. Reggio was an intellectual--Fricke is a mere craftsman. Fricke's images are eye candy without anything new to offer. Fricke's choice of music lacks the class of the Reggio-Philip Glass collaboration. Give me Koyaanisqatsi any day.
This disingenuous insemination of Dharma shows oriental cultures not as they are but instead patronizes their beliefs as a commodity to awe the effortlessly amused Euro-female audience who love to post pictures of their trips to Thailand on social media. 2/5 would pretend to be deep again.
This sort of movies are timeless, filled with gorgeous imagery that makes you feel like you've travelled the world after you're done with them. This one, despite having a good flow, falls a bit flat in terms of essence and critique and lacks the transcendental spirituality of Baraka. Still worthwhile, though, mostly for the new things the passing of time has brought.
Highlights the beauty and inelegance of nature vs civilization. Captures the magnificence of our world & the aspects of it that we often forget exists. It spotlights how despite our temporary existence, we have the ability to make it beautiful & worth while. This theme is represented by the mandala in the film. Monks spend months creating it & once they are done, they immediately clean it up. Absolutely captivating.