The name of a Sufi word that translates roughly as the breath of life or a blessing, Baraka Ron Fricke’s impressive follow-up non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi Godfrey Reggio. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, Baraka and struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi.
The result is a tour de force in 70 mm film directed meditation (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents in a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature and man own destructive powers into a web of moving images.
Fricke of the camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time period, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait The smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Masai in Kenya, chanting monks in the monastery Dip Tse Chok Ling … and so on, through locales throughout the world. To run the time-lapse film-sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements.