I’ve been thinking about the meaning of life lately. A lot. What it means to pass time, to fill up time, to live through time.
I went to see Samsara, and it’s propelled my mind even further. Though maybe in alternate directions.
The movie is a mind-blowing visual social commentary that divulges bits and pieces of a world I will never fully comprehend. Of places, people and conditions I often forget exist. Of a planet that makes me feel so small. So unappreciative. So privileged. So fascinated and driven to learn more.
From a film perspective, Samsara is fantastic. The sequenced images evoke every sense throughout, without words or any trace of spoken narration. The shots, whether revealing sites of opulence or filth, are all jaw-droppingly stunning, and I left the theater entirely enamored and inspired. Of course I would love to create something like this. And of course I would love to travel and experience 25 different countries. With my camera in my hand.
But again, aside from my captivation with the actual craftsmanship of this film, it’s left me thinking a lot about life. And how my views of its meaning must be significantly astray from those of a Tibetan monk who dedicates his life to Buddhist rituals. One who will spend weeks carefully crafting colorful mandellas made of sand, that, upon completion, will promptly get shattered. Or of a Chinese laborer, day in and day out, tightening the same screw in the same place of every model of clothing iron that runs down a conveyer belt for 12 hours each day.
What do these people make of the meaning of life? Does the exploration of this cross their minds? And if so, are the ensuing thoughts that different from my own?
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t going through this period of analysis. Sometimes I wonder about the purpose of wondering. Other times, I’m happy I can step back and see that there’s a bigger picture, and realize that menial bothers are what they are – trivial.
Samsara has left me in deeper contemplation about how life is just a bunch of decisions of how to fill and fulfill time. And of course, how to survive. How each of these aspects is different for every individual, every culture, every country, is literally mesmerizing. As for what all that means? I still don’t know. Part of me wishes I didn’t care.
(Also, the power of this movie is way beyond its trailer.)