My viewing of Baraka was a bit surreal. Partly because the film itself is nothing but amazing, scenic, wondrous things. Partly because early that morning my father passed away. Apparently “baraka” means “blessing” in many languages, and it is fitting.
Baraka is not a movie or a documentary in a traditional sense. There is no narration, no story, nothing but remarkable things caught on film from around the globe. It’s almost like the BBC documentary miniseries Planet Earth, but with David Attenborough’s narration on mute. The things shown are usually breathtakingly beautiful but I found myself wanting more information on what I was watching.
That is the power of seeing Baraka. You are completely engrossed and you yearn for more of it. As a gold standard for Blu-Ray viewing I used to use the BBC Planet Earth series but Baraka has surpassed it. Shot on 65mm film (35mm was usually used) the transfer was done in 8K resolution and then downscaled to 1080P for the Blu-Ray release. Essentially, the transfer looks 8 times better than it needs to and the quality is amazing.
To call Baraka a life-changing experience may only apply because my life did change the day I experienced it. To call it an amazing thing to watch is certainly appropriate. If you own a Blu-Ray player and a home theater, you are doing a disservice by not watching this movie as soon as possible.
I give it 5 bathing monkeys out of 5.