Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1/2

Advertised as a "world beyond words," BARAKA is a concept film which uses images, music and sound effects to encourage thought. There is no dialogue other than the chants from some religious groups. Filmed in 24 countries using 70mm film, it combines the majesty of natural wonders with the works and activities of man. A number of scenes use time-lapse photography with breathtaking effects. Clouds move into a mountain valley like ocean waves, and stars whirl across the night sky. To evoke thoughts, images of people moving through a Japanese train station are matched with the movements of baby chicks through an egg-laying factory. Other images set a mood of tranquility or wonder as they show various religions at worship in Turkey, Jerusalem, Greece, Cambodia and Egypt. In sharp contrast are children shown begging and sleeping in the street and the ovens and barbed wire of a Polish concentration camp, illustrating poverty and despair. Baraka generates a multitude of interpretations. Although suitable for all ages, 90 minutes of pictures eventually becomes tiring without a plot or narration.

While it is commendable that the producers include activities and sites of many religions, it implies that all religions are equal, a New Age/Unity concept. More visual time is dedicated to East Indian and Oriental religions, also favored by New Age philosophers. Overall, scenes of the Western hemisphere are more negative. Otherwise, offensive elements include some male and female frontal and breast nudity among the native tribes. Violence is implied by scenes of the burning oil wells in Kuwait and bombed out tanks and the concentration camp images. A closeup of a funeral pyre in India will disturb young children. BARAKA has few obvious objectionable elements, but its underlying New Age messages are disturbing.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Few times (native male and female nudity)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Subtle New Age philosophy throughout
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (