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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,… More
Directed By
© Magidson Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film's one-world thesis is asserted but never made convincing, as Fricke zigzags from the Western Wall to whirling dervishes to the Grand Mosque of Mecca in a superficial gloss on faith (and everything else)."
‑ Fred Camper, Chicago Reader
"It is claimed that the great age of travel is dead - that there are no longer amazing, exotic, beautiful and fearsome places for the traveler to discover. A movie like Baraka gives hope."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A cinematic sight for sore eyes."
‑ Rebecca Ellis, Little White Lies
"Breathtaking and serenely beautiful to watch, Baraka is still the visual delight it was twenty years ago, thanks to phenomenal photography, superb editing and a strapping score."
‑ Jennifer Tate, ViewLondon
"images [and juxtapositions] in BARAKA . . provoke speculation about our place in the cosmos"
‑ Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews
"Any one sequence might work powerfully in its own right, but string them together with a musical overlay and the banality of the connections becomes apparent."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Nothing in this epic visual poem is less than extraordinary."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"The only reaction permitted is gawping."
‑ Mike McCahill, Guardian [UK]
"Either an awesome vision of the world in all its time-lapsed wonder or visual whale music."
‑ Matt Glasby, Total Film
"[It] begins like a National Geographic tour....a vacation from dialogue and narrative, traveling strictly on imagery... [but]Baraka gets old before the 93 minutes are up."
‑ Anita Schmaltz, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"The form is ravishing, though the content suffers by comparison."
‑ Patrick Z. McGavin, Chicago Tribune
"While it's easy to look at these often beautiful moving postcards, Fricke presents locations without identifying them, so most viewers will quickly find themselves lost and overwhelmed."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"A cinematic gap year of forest temples, baking deserts and teeming cities."
‑ Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
"Critics and audiences have struggled to find the right words to describe the effect Baraka has on them for 16 years; but it seems appropriate to be speechless after seeing this wordless masterpiece of cinema."
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Baraka's major strength is its realization that life happens all over the world and not just in America."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Baraka on Rotten Tomatoes

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