2023 | Spain | 114 m | Lao/Swahili with English subtitles | dir: Lois Patiño | cert: U
Sun 25 February // 17:00
Mon 26 February // 20:00 (SOLD OUT)
Tickets: £5 (full)
'A voyage that probes spiritual and cinematic boundaries to create a deeply moving meditation on what happens after we die and is, at times, a transcendent experience... allows us to marvel at cinema's miraculous capacity for the transportive and sublime.'
Sight & Sound: 50 Best Films Of 2023
Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Berlinale 2023, this luminous feature by Spanish experimental filmmaker Lois Patiño is a rumination on death and reincarnation, of the visible and the invisible, and a spellbinding work of cinema that demands to be seen on the big screen.
In Buddhist philosophy, the word 'samsara' makes allusion to the nature of life as a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. In present-day Laos, a young Buddhist visits an elderly woman close to death and reads to her from the Bardo Thödol, the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, as she prepares for her next transformative journey, her soul traveling to reincarnation as a baby goat on a beach of Zanzibar, where groups of women farm seaweed and make soap.
Mixing documentary and fiction, captured on 16 mm with an ethnographic eye (and ear) for detail, and infused with sonic wonders, Patiño invites us to experience the power of collective viewing, and creates a sensorial, otherworldly and meditative cinematic journey. Proof that cinema can still be something profoundly distinct in 2024, this is an immersive experience that features, among many fantastical elements, a 15-minute light-and-sound 'afterlife' interlude where audience members are asked to shut their eyes and take in the colour being pulsed at them.
'A playfully mysterious invitation to contemplate death.'
★★★★☆ The Guardian
'Deeply meditative... a film you watch with your eyes shut.'
The Guardian: A Survival Guide To The Award Season's Biggest Films
'A transformative sensorial journey... breathtaking.'
Sight & Sound
'Samsara is an extraordinary, multi-sensory journey through bodies, souls, and space.'
Content warning: references to death, brief bloody images.
Please note this screening contains scenes with flashing and flickering images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.