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"Baraka" Fully restored for Blu-ray
The first movie ever transferred in 8k ultradigital HD! - "Baraka": Blu-ray In Stores October 28th, 2008

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: MPI Media Group Date: 26.08.2008
Director & Cinematographer, Ron Fricke. Publicity still by Magidson Films, 1992. Image by: Rita Haft

Shot in breathtaking 70mm in 24 countries on six continents, "Baraka" is a transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you’ve ever seen or felt before. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature’s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, harmony and chaos.


"Baraka" – produced by Mark Magidson and directed and photographed by Ron Fricke, award-winning cinematographer of "KOYAANISQATSI" and creators of the IMAX® sensation "CHRONOS" – has now been fully restored from its original camera negative via state-of-the-art 8K UltraDigital mastering to create the most visually stunning Blu-ray DVD ever made.

• Available for the first time ever on Blu-Ray in 8k UltraDigital HD
• Includes over 80 minutes of all new bonus features – "Baraka: A Closer Look", "Baraka: Restoration"
• Full restored in state-of-the-art 70mm High Definition
• The original "Baraka" has sold over 300,000 units to date
• Will feature Eco-friendly packaging
• 2,21:1 Todd-AO aspect ratio

In the ancient Sufi language, it is a word that translates to ‘the thread that weaves life together.’ In the pantheon of modern cinema, it remains one of the most unique motion picture events of our time. Now sixteen years after its 70mm theatrical release that redefined the documentary genre, the original creative team behind "Baraka" has collaborated with MPI Media Group and Hollywood’s top digital masters to redefine the visual possibilities of Blu-ray DVD.

Originally shot in 24 countries on six continents, "Baraka" brought together a series of stunningly photographed scenes to capture what director/ cinematographer Ron Fricke calls “a guided mediation on humanity.” It was a shoot of unprecedented technical, logistical and bureaucratic scope – detailed in the disc’s extensive documentary Bonus Features – that would take 30 months to complete, including 14 months on location, with a custom-built computerized 65mm camera. “The goal of the film,” says producer Mark Magidson, “was to reach past language, nationality, religion and politics and speak to the inner viewer.” The result was a global cultural perspective unlike anything seen before by audiences.
More in 70mm reading:

"Baraka" cast and credits
"Samsara" - in Panavision Super 70 / System 65

Publicity & Marketing
MPI Media Group
Dark Sky Films / Dokument Films
16101 S. 108th Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60467

P: +1 708 873 3128
F: +1 708 873 3177
Producer Mark Magidson. Publicity still Magidson Films, 1992. Image by: Rita Haft

Critical reaction was both immediate and unparalleled. “"Baraka" has the power of a dream,” wrote Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. “It is claimed that there are no longer amazing, exotic, beautiful and fearsome places to discover. A movie like "Baraka" gives hope. It makes the earth and its inhabitants seem touchingly fragile.” The Washington Post raved, “"Baraka" fulfills the ‘magic carpet’ promise of the movies to a previously unimagined degree. Nothing in this epic visual poem is less than extraordinary.”

Audiences would soon discover the film’s remarkable emotional power, making it one top-grossing international 70mm releases of its time. A 2001 DVD release featuring a new 16x9 transfer and digitally re-mastered 5.1 SurroundSound became one of the most popular and acclaimed discs in the format’s history. But as Fricke and Magidson began to explore the capabilities of new digital technology, they would soon seize the challenge to capture the film’s 70mm theatrical impact in the ultimate high definition DVD.

For the first time in history, a 65mm feature film camera negative would be mastered at 8192 pixels of resolution, creating a digital file in excess of an astounding 30 terabytes in size. This frame-by-frame scanning process – designed specifically for "Baraka" by FotoKem Laboratory – has produced a detailed HD image unlike any ever seen. “This is the best and most advanced technology available in the world today,” says DVD Restoration Producer Christopher Reyna. “We were able to repair damage that had occurred to the original negative during production in the Himalayas, in the jungles of Brazil, as well as in the lab over the years. The dynamic range, color saturation, sharpness and contrast ratio of "Baraka" in the home environment now far exceeds anything in the industry. Nothing comes close.”

For the home entertainment industry, "Baraka" represents a digital breakthrough that will change the way we watch DVDs. “Creating the new DVD master for "Baraka" was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says FotoKem Vice President Andrew Oran. “It is arguably the highest quality Blu-ray DVD that has ever been made.” For the filmmakers, the 8K Ultra-Digital restoration now fulfills the promise of "Baraka" for an entire new generation to discover. “To be talking about a state of the art re-release of the film after so many years is remarkable,” says Mark Magidson. “"Baraka" has truly stood the test of time.”
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Updated 21-01-24