The Classics never die

By Małgorzata Piechowicz-Pietruszka

There are some movies that I love going back to. Now more than ever I find myself particularly fond of films about nature and our Planet Earth. This is, unfortunately for many of us nowadays, the only way to connect with Mother Nature. And although these movies are not new, they are in my opinion the absolute masterpieces with the most transcendental message we can ever get: that we are all spiritual beings living on the most amazingly beautiful planet. Perhaps this basic truth needs to be rediscovered by many of us.

Baraka by Ron Fricke is a 1992 non-narrative documentary shot in 24 countries on six continents. It shows how dehumanised our societies have become through technology and lack of respect to nature. On the other hand, we are everyday witnesses of our planet’s staggering beauty but our souls are in desperate need of spirituality. In Arabic ‘barakah’ means “a blessing power, a kind of continuity of spiritual presence and revelation that begins with God and flows through that and those closest to God.” In short, the essence or the breath of life – truly magnificent.

Winged Migration — a 2001 documentary film directed by Jacques CluzaudMichel Debats and Jacques Perrin — shows a mind-blowing fight for survival of birds during their migration. Four years of shooting from paragliders, hot air balloons, motorboats, trucks and many more (including a French Navy warship) and a masterpiece was created. Thanks to the special aerial footage the viewer appears to traverse the journey alongside the birds, covering over 590 miles on seven continents. Add to that the most spine-tingling soundtrack and you will be in a state of exaltation for 89 minutes straight.

Atlantis by Luc Besson released in 1991 is another nonverbal film showing sea animals in the most remarkable and powerful way. It was shot entirely underwater displaying the footage in a specific mood and through warm colours. The atmosphere of the movie somehow resembles that of ‘Baraka’ and ‘Winged Migration’ but thanks to its unique scenes and the aquatic soundtrack it is yet again an outstanding 78-minute piece of art.

I personally feel very touched by all three of these films. Either it’s the beauty of our planet, the vulnerability of its creatures or at times the ignorance of our human species but a box of tissues might be at hand. Enjoy!

Oman Observer

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