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"Baraka" 1992 Documentary

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Thomas Pineda
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"Baraka" 1992 Documentary

This documentary film from 1992 can be found on YouTube. It features sounds and music only, no dialogue and just picturesque comparisons of cultures, religions, habitations both rural and urban, as well as the different impact of humans on the environment. It is mostly PG, like a National Geographic magazine, there are some nude aboriginal people and villagers, as well as some intense scenes of funerals or rituals- nothing too disturbing however (maybe the chicken farm scene).

 

 In class, this would be a great way to expose students to understanding and researching different aspects of other cultures to compare to their own. There are some overarching themes that students could choose from for a research project. They could look at the theme of housing, religion, dance, work, funerals or transportation. Students could create venn diagrams for particular scenes and compare two different cultures. They could explain their home culture’s values or take on one of those themes and then find an example from the film that most resembles their own culture’s, and another that is vastly different. From those snippets they choose, they can research the location and origin of those themes and find out why things are done/built/used like that.