Filmed across twenty-five countries around the world with stunning photography, no dialogue, no story and minimal sound beyond the rather kitsch soundtrack, Samsara is every inch an art film. As breathtaking as it looks, it lacks focus while simultaneously being a put too on-the-nose with its agenda (cue clips of Jews worshipping in Jerusalem followed by Muslims in Mecca). It uses its imagery to show how guns are bad, factory meat is bad, war is bad, tribal Africans look different, people are poor, multi-storey pitch and putt courses are weird, fast food makes people fat which are all valid points and sometimes they’re hard hitting but there’s not a great deal tying it together. It’s a broad sketch of modern life which is occasionally astounding but it’s a little too ambitious without quite knowing what its doing. It shows the marvel of global diversity while simultaneously pointing out how everything’s a bit rubbish or weird. A worthy cinema experience if not as revolutionary as it may wish. Maybe everything is just a bit rubbish and weird.
Review by David Rank
Samsara is out on 10th August in the UK. Certificate 12A (UK). Running time 102 mins.
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