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HD   PG-13

Ron Fricke

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About the Movie

Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience. SAMSARA reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award winning films BARAKA and CHRONOS were acclaimed for their combining visual and musical artistry. SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 77
  • Fresh: 59
  • Rotten: 18
  • Average Rating: 7.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Samsara stares at Asian temples, African tribesmen, and chickens bound for slaughter with the same blank eye. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Sep 6, 2012

Fresh: A Balinese dancer, an African tribesman, a disfigured marine, a Japanese stripper all stand composed, confident, and dignified, daring you to break the gaze. – Ken Marks, New Yorker, Sep 24, 2012

Fresh: "Samsara" is gorgeous. And sometimes, depending on expectations, looks are enough. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Sep 6, 2012

Rotten: "Samsara" is a ravishing visual experience, but it carries a message that at least some viewers will find less than compelling. – Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, Sep 7, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

The Beautiful Horror

or the Horrific Beauty, either way.
Send one film off into space to show the rest of the universe who we are, it should be Samsara.


After 45 years of moviegoing and film festivals, I hope you will value my view.

This is one of the top ten movies I have ever seen. Visual, sensual (not sexual) beautiful, often deeply unsettling. I will never forget this film.

…and not one word is spoken.

The word must spread

This movie needs to be seen by every member of the human race. We need to see both the beauty and tragedy of how we are interacting with each other and the world. Time has an opinion, and it has spoken through Samsara.