Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke served as the cinematographer. It is also the most recent film to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. (wiki)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Maasai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi (rottentomatoes)
imdb / on YouTube
timespace coordinates: 2000’s. north of Iran, Caspian Sea
About Elly (Persian: درباره الی, translit. Dar bāre-ye Elly) is a 2009 Iranian drama film directed by Asghar Farhadi. It is the fourth film by Farhadi. The film is about middle class relationships in Iran. One year after its release, it was voted the 4th greatest Iranian movie of all time by the national society of Iranian critics. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: Persian Empire 6th century BC
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 American action fantasy film directed by Mike Newell. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, Ben Kingsley as Nizam, and Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar.
The film has the same title as the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time developed and published by Ubisoft, and is primarily based on it. Elements from Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, the two other titles from the Sands of Time trilogy of the Prince of Persia video game franchise, are also incorporated.
The film seems to be set in ancient Persia, as the film starts with a map portending to show the expanse of the Persian Empire 2500 years ago. The film set design seems to be based on Islamic Persia. Islamic architecture with intricate use of geometric shapes and domes are shown. The cities in the film all appear to have minarets. The Allied Kingdom of Alamut, shown in the movie wasn’t established until 9th century (after Islamic Conquest of Persia). The Alamut castle was built by the Justanid ruler, Wahsudan b. Marzuban, a follower of zaydi Islam, around 865 AD. It was seized by Hassan-i Sabbah, who was the leader of the Nizārī Ismā‘īlītes and the founder of the secret order known as Assassins. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 1970s > 1980s > 1990s Tehran / Vienna
Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian animated biographical film based on Marjane Satrapi‘s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The title is a reference to the historic city of Persepolis.
spacetime coordinates: 11th-century England > Persia
The Physician (German: Der Medicus) is a 2013 German adventure film based on the novel of the same name by Noah Gordon. The film focuses on an orphan from an 11th-century English town whose mother died of a mysterious illness. The boy vows to study medicine and decides to travel to Persia.