Reflection of Samsara

After watching the documentary “Samsara” which is directed by Ron Fricke, I feel that this documentary is so much special. Devoid of any other dialogue, Samsara uses images to create its own idea—language, a social construction which is formed through a patterned system of communication, can reflect so called social context or social reality. For instance, in the documentary Samsara, people are able to see a list of images about the “food cycle”. Specifically, chickens are kept in a food-processing plant. All of these animals are suffering before they are slaughtered for humans to eat. Instead of letting animals live in a humane way, people pay much more attention to high efficiency and high profit. There is no doubt, in this kind of merciless way, the social reality is on full display. As well, just like the meaning of the title “Samsara”—the repeating cycle of birth, life and death, this documentary expresses this idea from different filming angles, reaching the same goals—to interpret the wheel of life. Through visual connection with different structures, people can understand the hidden meaning of Samsara, that society itself is just a repeating pattern. The individual forms of language in different documentaries or movies reflect the spirit of the society in which humans live.


5 thoughts on “Reflection of Samsara

  1. I agree with the idea that many animals are not fairly treated in our globe. Even though I am a meat eater and I feel no guiltiness while eating animals, I would still say that no one gives us, human-beings, the rights to eat other lives on the earth. As you claimed, the world itself is a circle, and it rotates endlessly. Our universe is magic, and all the lives in it must experience living and death. Every species has its own position in the food cycle. And this is how the universe is kept balanced.


  2. Hi Janice,
    I really enjoy to reading your blog and totally agree with you that animals in our lives didn’t have a fair deal. Everyday has a ton of people are argue on one topic. One is vegetarian and other is non-vegetarian. They keep on discussing about the ins and outs of killing animals and the discussion goes on day by day. It’s an attempt to stop all forms of animals for food, trophies and clothing, to stopping experimentation on animals for beauty products and human medicine. I’m not a vegan, not a vegetarian. I do still eat meat but sometimes, I’m really torn about how I feel about that. Instead, I have drastically reduced my meat consumption to only 1-2 times per week. People call this a week-day vegetarian. I fell great (lost five pounds,of course), and reduced my environmental footprint while still getting to enjoy a nice, juicy burger. Back to, Samsara is not solely about the food industry, it means the ever turning wheel of life, more about feelings and an inner journey than an intellectual experience.


  3. Although I have only watched a part of the documentary, I agree on what you said that animals are unfairly treated as human beings. But I think the way that this film shows of slaughtering the animals are the best way. Since it is no doubt that the animals are a part of our everyday ingredient, it is efficient and less cruelty to treat them as lifeless stuff. Like the chicken in the video, they were made just like toys so that the eaters will not feel sorry for them.


  4. I watch a lot of documentaries. They are my favorite past time. I totally agree with how the food industry is merciless towards animals. I believe that it is because we are socially constructed to just consume whatever is in the supermarket. I watched quite a lot documentaries about food and animal agriculture. I believe that Samsara sticks out from all of them because of how it conveys its message without narration. I think it is amazing how this problem has been brought to light in recent years. I am a vegetarian myself and am thinking about going vegan sometime in the future.


  5. I agree with you that samsara used the unique way to describe the way that animal was treated. Samsara provides viewers with a series of miraculous natural images, such as splendid volcano eruption, mysterious sacred land and aged sculptures in the desert. It also presents viewers images from the modern cities, including city night scenery, offices and factories people work in.


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