Samantha Rose English 1020 Philosophy in Images Francis Ford Coppola once said, “A number of images put together a certain way become something quite above and beyond what any of them are individually. ” That is the essence of the movie Baraka (1992), a compilation of images that alone would mean something, but together they move you and make you think. The movie did that to me, from the images as a well as some of the individual images shown throughout. I will be discussing what the director, Ron Fricke, was trying to convey when he made this movie.
I will touch on what exactly it is he is trying to convey with specific images that were in the movie. I feel as though the director was trying to convey the message that life is too busy. That we need to slow down and go back to our religious roots, back to relaxation and less hectic lives. The image of the monkey shows just that. The monkey is in his natural setting, just taking in what is around and relaxing. I feel as though Fricke is trying to really drill that into the images throughout the whole movie.
Blogger Jimmy_U said, “The meaning that I get from this film is that we are all slowly killing ourselves and we are not realizing it. Many people live in harmony and try to harm this earth as little as possible. Others ruin and pollute this earth just to make some money,” (artofvideo. blogspot. com). The image of the airplanes all lined up shows how dependant we are on these forms of transportation here in America. The location here is Airfield Davis Monthan, Tucson, N32-11-W110-53 (spiritiofbaraka. com).
I feel as though the director also wanted us to see how as Americans we always want to go somewhere else and leave home so often. There are so many airplanes that are most likely used on a daily basis. These planes are from the military however and they are stored here because they are no longer in use. I feel like Fricke also wanted us to see how much waste we are creating. These planes are taking up space that was probably once a forest but we plowed it and made it into a graveyard for old military planes.
Another picture that I feel as though the author is trying to convey the same message as the airplanes is this one of Hong Kong. The guy in it looks so little compared to the huge infrastructure. Blogger JT said, “It’s the habited area nearest to the old Kai Tak Airport, my school used to be there and the teacher had to stop talking once every couple of minutes or so because a loud airplane was flying overhead,” (spiritofbaraka. com). This comment goes to show exactly what I feel that the director is trying to convey, that life is too busy and we need to slow down.
The images of agriculture such as the rice fields outside of Ubud, Bali show how Fricke is trying to tell us that we need to go back to our roots and how everything is too processed and not organic anymore. It also is so calm and there are so many trees around. Unlike that of the photo of the military planes all lined up on concrete. I believe Fricke is trying to tell us that the world has become cold and hard like the concrete the planes are on while we need to go back to our soft and organic nature.
I also feel Fricke is trying to show us how life can be one big maze, and we can go around and around until we get back to our roots and relax and make life simple again (spiritofbaraka. com). Fricke also believes that we should go back to our religious beliefs and I feel like this sort of picture is trying to get us to do so. I believe he wants us to look at the majesty of this gorgeous picture and be in awe of who made this and our “God”. The final picture I will be discussing is that of the yogi in India.
His dread locks show that he does not care about outside appearance that he is so devoted to his religion that he does not bother with cutting his hair. He is reading an ancient Bible (spiritofbaraka. com), I believe he is trying to get down to the roots of religion and where it all started. I believe the smoke is there to cleanse away the dirt and evils of the day and make one “new. ” In Hinduism, sadhu means, someone who practices yoga but has given up on three of the Hindu goals of life. Those three goals are: kama (enjoyment), artha (practical objectives), and dharma (duty).
Sadhus are only dedicated to the Hindu goal moksha (liberation). They do this through meditation to get closer to God (spiritofbaraka. com). Studying the images of Baraka shows us a lot of philosophical things and shows us what the director was trying to get the watcher to see and believe. Baraka is a film of discovery, and challenges us to do something about the diminishing of our country. To go back to the simple times of life, find our love for our “Gods” and stop being so busy and stop wasting our resources and ruining nature.
We need to slow down in America and become peaceful again, relax and enjoy nature instead of destroying it.
Works Cited “Baraka and the Power of Images. ” Art of Video and IB Film. 20 June 2006. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. ;lt;http://artofvideo. blogspot. com/2006/06/baraka-and-power-of-images. html;gt;. “Baraka – a Nonverbal Film by Ron Fricke | Spirit of Baraka. ” Spirit of Baraka | Celebrating Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi and Other Non-verbal Films. 17 July 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. ;lt;http://www. spiritofbaraka. com/baraka;gt;.