Baraka, life in 21st Century.

by Stefan Alievikj on 27th February, 2012 at 4:02 PM CEST

In 1992, Ron Fickle and Mark Madgison made a collaboration that brought to light a breath-taking non-fiction movie called Baraka (meaning: the essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds) . Filming in different parts of the world, they made a pure amalgamation of motion picture using only the universal language of the visual. Named as Baraka, their movie presents various corners of the world and though it might seems very hermetical and difficult to interpret (because the missing of a storyline), the movie of Fickle and Madgison suggests the idea that the modern civilization is overpowering the traditional civilization and the native style of living.

When I first saw this movie in the early 2000’s, which was delivered to me by my brother and cousin, I didn’t have a clue about all the meanings behind it. It was just a nice non-fictive movie to be seen. Later on, I find it challenging to see what Baraka hides within.

Baraka truly demonstrates the rise of the modern civilization and the urban culture and illustrates on the veriest introvert way their opposition to the developing countries, thus we are facing one multi-cultural overview of the world. Regarding this, we can set down a new topic for discussion of how the West dominates on a global level and how that particular domination is dangerous and causes extinction to many native ways of lives. Just for example, it is estimated that 7000 languages are being used in the world. One of them dies out every two weeks. A death of a language is a death of a cultural heritage; decrease in the world's diversity. It's seems inevitable to state that it's a reaction of the Western system that is a global leader in every sense (technological, cultural) and compared to the West it seems that the other part of the Earth is in eclipse.

The Palestinian-American literary theorist, Edward Said back in his days commented how even the West uses the term "oriental" as a stereotype; That, by saying orientalism it's just one more emphasize of the marginal status of the Eastern cultures or the African ones. The Eastern really seems to appear in eclipse.

The critically shaped Baraka as well indicates disturbing images of environmental distortion. Many global problems are results of the industrialization.

We could ask ourselves, what is the purpose of making such movie? I guess it's not that far-fetching to set down the true arguments. Each time in the history of civilization when there are some sequence of events that results with destruction/extinction, the human need for healing manifests itself in art. After the 1st World war the concepts of literature were radically changed. The new authors involved the technique of stream of consciousness in order to contemplate the destruction of their personal lives/stories. It's the idea how fiction and non-fiction works of art can heal the heart of man. In the present day it's an art form like Baraka that expresses the anger of the world events. It's like a silent scream.

In the end, what do you think; Can art help to bring freedom?

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Bistra Kumbaroska

Bistra Kumbaroska

Stefan, I really like your style of writing. I have seen the movie, and i really enjoyed it. To be honest, it is one of those movies that give you different meaning each time you play them. I have seen it 3 times by now.

27th February, 2012 @ 4:27 PM CEST

Stefan Alievikj

Stefan Alievikj | C:F staff

Thank you Bistra! Exactly... each time you play movie such is Baraka, you find some new meaningful thing that later lingers on in your mind and you contemplate. I guess, that is the process how one heals individually. And it is amazing how this movie is directed, the use of time-lapse photography and the extraordinary edited music.

27th February, 2012 @ 9:20 PM CEST

Jovana Djurkovic

Jovana Djurkovic | Action team | CF Chapters

"A death of a language is a death of a cultural heritage; decrease in the world's diversity. " Great line :-)
Great article Stefan.

I didn't have opportunity to see this movie so far, but it seems very interesting... Would like to watch it :D

28th February, 2012 @ 2:12 PM CEST

Maxwell Marfo

Maxwell Marfo

Great. You have done well!!

28th February, 2012 @ 2:32 PM CEST

Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas

Now i am looking forward to see the movie.

1st March, 2012 @ 5:07 PM CEST



I really must take a look at this movie because of your write up, good work.

9th March, 2012 @ 3:06 PM CEST



Wonderful piece you've got here.

17th April, 2012 @ 2:25 PM CEST

Regina Phalange

Regina Phalange

One of my favs :) Alternative life styles nowadays feel better than the mainstream; another point that maybe this movie points out!

1st May, 2012 @ 3:26 AM CEST

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