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Exploring our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the reaches of man’s spirituality and the human experience, SAMSARA is neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, instead taking the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation.

Director: Ron Fricke
Year: 2011
Time: 102 min

(2011) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film, give others the chance to experience this visual meditation.

Watch BARAKA, the prequel to SAMSARA produced by Fricke and Magidson, released in 1992.

Become involved in Earth Day activities in your local community. Earth Day is a time to extend support for environmental protection and is held around the globe on April 22 each year. Visit the Earth Day Network’s webiste!

Follow Heartland Film, a nonprofit arts organization with the mission to ”inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film,” which granted SAMSARA a Truly Moving Picture Award.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project. They offer practical information on how to support ethical food production

Related Articles and Resources

The Stories Behind the 5 Most Difficult-to-Film Scenes in SAMSARA

How two filmmakers turned sulfur mines, slaughterhouses, and trash heaps into breathtaking cinema.

Joe Fassler talks to the filmmakers Mark Madigson and Ron Fricke about the challenges of filming in five of their most difficult locations.

Read the full interview on The Atlantic.

A Continued Attempt to Silence Whistleblowers

“We collaborate with many coalition groups who oppose the legislation, which typically criminalize the individuals who expose wrongdoing rather than the perpetrators of it! Wyoming’s bill — which was introduced mere weeks after undercover video footage revealed inhumane handling of pigs at a Tyson Foods supplier in the state — threatens agriculture whistleblowers with jail time and a fine if they use a recording device on the facility’s premises.”

Read the article on The Huffington Post.

How do film-makers manipulate emotions with music?

Read the BBC article.


Films that see religion humanized by sacrifice and devotion.

Trashing the Earth

“If you’re someone who cares about the environment, your first and foremost concern is probably climate change. After that, you might worry about such things as radioactive contamination, collapsing honeybee colonies and endangered ecosystems.

But a number of researchers are focused on a problem that has faded out of the news cycle: the piles of garbage that are growing around the world.”

Read the Washington Post article.

“You can see it in everyone’s face. I mean you can see this connection, this soul.”

Listen to the creators of SAMSARA talk about their experiences from making the film here.

Only Spirituality Can Solve The Problems Of The World

“Before addressing the importance of spirituality in modern times, we should first define it.”

Find out more here.

The Non-verbal Genre In Natural History Filmmaking

Read Keene McDonald Haywood’s thesis here.

The Morality of Meditation

“Meditation is fast becoming a fashionable tool for improving your mind. With mounting scientific evidence that the practice can enhance creativity, memory and scores on standardized intelligence tests, interest in its practical benefits is growing… This is all well and good, but if you stop to think about it, there’s a bit of a disconnect between the (perfectly commendable) pursuit of these benefits and the purpose for which meditation was originally intended. ”

Read more about this here.


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