Samsara is a Sanskrit word referencing the
circle of life. That may reek of patchouli, but put aside those
aversions—this wordless documentary is one of the most visually
intoxicating films in recent memory. Shot in gleaming 70 mm, it travels
to 25 countries—from hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to East Africa, from
Egyptian apartment complexes built in view of the pyramids to a Bangkok
strip club full of undulating “lady-boys”—and paints an astounding
portrait of human existence. Whether it’s as profound as the filmmakers
want it to be depends on your predilection toward enlightenment, but as a
travelogue, it’s goddamned beautiful.
- Showing at: Hollywood.
- Best paired with: Pinot grigio.
- Also screening: Ghostbusters (Laurelhurst).