An Interpretation of Theme
December 6th, 2006
The theme of Baraka, a film created by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, is life on earth. This film portrays the human understanding of the existence of life within the world in which we live. The theme of the film is portrayed without dialogue in a poetic mesh of beautiful cinematography and a magnificent soundtrack. The only written or spoken clue to what the film’s theme is, lies within the title. Because “baraka” is not an English word, the English speaking viewers are still left clueless when attempting to decipher the theme. The film has no dialog, subtitles, characters, or plot; so, the viewer is forced to make a personal interpretation of theme. Just as the film’s theme could easily be interpreted differently by everyone, life it self is also interpreted in many different ways. One of the most reoccurring motifs -- religion, relates to theme in that it suggests a wide variety of the way humans interpret the all knowing creator of life, just as life it self is interpreted in many ways.
The film is a highly formalistic sequence of often uncomfortably long artistic style shots fused with a strong overlying soundtrack that often emphasizes the rhythm and feel of the picture on the screen. The film may seem to some as a collage of random shots with a sound track, but with a more careful analysis the story line or flow of content in the film follows within a structure that portrays a distinct theme. The film begins with morning, shots of natural landscapes and people at prayer. Arial photography of a volcano is pictured. A river turns into a massive water fall. Cave paintings and tribal rituals are shown followed by grasslands, rainstorms, and a herd of gazelle. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip-mining. Images of poverty, the pace of the movie quickens with time lapse scenes depicting the rapid pace of urban life, tedious assembly...