The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 18, 2012

Documentary to make premiere

LEWISBURG — The experimental 2012 documentary “Samsara” will make its central Pennsylvania premiere on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg for one show only. Admission is $2.

“Samsara” reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award-winning films “Baraka” (1992) and “Chronos” (1985) were acclaimed for combining stunning visuals with musical artistry.

“ Samsara” is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever-turning wheel of life” and is the filmmakers’ departure point as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.

Filmed over a period of almost five years and in 25 countries, “Samsara” transports the viewer to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites and natural wonders.

By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, “Samsara” subverts the expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging the viewer’s own inner interpretations.

“This film is what I call a ‘pure cinema’ experience,” said Bucknell Film/Media Studies Professor Eric Faden. “Since there is no traditional dialogue, the film relies purely on cinematography and editing to tell its story.”

Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, “Samsara” takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. Through powerful images, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.

“This is also a unique film because it’s likely one of the last films in film history shot on 70mm film,” said Faden. “We assume the conversion to digital always is a step forward, but 70mm film still captures a superior image compared to any digital film camera.”

“Samsara” was photographed entirely in 70mm film and utilized a motion control timelapse camera. The images were then transferred through the highest resolution scanning process available to the new 4K digital projection format.

“This is a film that — because of its format — needs to be seen and heard on the big screen,” Faden said. “It doesn’t have nearly the impact when watched on a TV or laptop.”

To see a trailer of the film, go to

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