Baraka tells the story of the world. It beautifully documents natural events, human activities, life, and the technological progress of mankind. Aside from the stunning shots, the feature that makes Baraka stand out from other documentaries is that it includes no narrative. Instead, director Ron Fricke was able to tell the story of the world merely through moving images and music.
There are several ways through which this is accomplished. Watching the documentary, one can identify several loosely defined themes that follow up on each other. Religious ceremonies and traditions are followed up by natural events, in turn followed by the display of cities, war and technology.
Being a non-narrative documentary, Baraka employs several cinematic techniques to continuously capture the audience attention. Aside from using the 70mm format, which allows for breathtaking views, the filmmakers used several techniques like slow motion and time-lapse, resulting in interesting scenes. Most images are somehow in motion, either something happening in what is portrayed, or through cinematic techniques like described above as well as moving the camera across a scene. In all this, the overwhelming music sets the tone for each theme, completely drawing viewers in.
Using all these techniques makes Baraka an interesting documentary that truly tells a story, even though there is no narrative. The cinematic techniques and the music use perfectly do right to the magnificent shots. So sit back and be prepared to be amazed by the story of the world.