Baraka is a masterpiece of visual storytelling by Ron Fricke. Using only camera and music Baraka tells the story of the human condition; a journey from nature to cities to alienation - and a way to healing through spirituality and re-connecting with nature. Baraka is an ancient Sufi word, translated as a blessing or as the essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds.

Four stills from the movie Baraka
Images from the movie Baraka

My son was born with an extremely rare heart defect, affecting 0.1% of all congenital defects. The odds of winning the Power ball is probably higher. Thorax surgery enabled him to fully recover leaving only a faint scar on his chest.  

Hjärtebarnsfonden, the Swedish Fund for Congenital heart defects, used pure visual storytelling for fundraising in Dante's Heartbeats, directed by Marcus Ibanez.  The elements used were

  • Recorded heartbeats from Dante, a child born with a heart defect.  
  • A cover by Amason of Heartbeats from Swedish band The Knife, lyrics are at the end of this post.
  • Black and white handheld cinematography by Erik Henriksson.
  • Choreography by Joakim Stephenson.  

The result is nothing but extraordinary:

This short video embraces the utter helplessness and desperation parents experience - your child has to fight this alone. His or her life is in the hands of surgeons, nurses, perfusionists (heart-lung machine operator) and cardiologists. The only thing you can do is love and hug your child, and that is not going to be enough in this situation. You may actually loose your child.

A classic narrated story can not touch this situation. Imagine images of parents in a cold hospital corridor:  "It's normal for parents to experience feelings of desperation and helplessness when a child is born with a congenital heart defect."

It does not even come close. The situation does not allow itself to be rendered into words. This short clip does. It reaches the true experience of having a child who is in serious trouble.

If you are in Sweden please consider donating to Hjärtebarnsfonden on this link

Hjärtebarnsfonden | Ge en gåva

And there's Human by Yann Arthus-Bertrand from 2015. Human stories from every corner of our planet.  Love, hate, work, parenthood, identity, violence.. an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Google has a behind the scenes of the aerial photography. Human has also been released without the stories - only the images and music. It is beyond words.

Baraka from 1992 has been re-mastered and released in 8K - hare is a new full-HD trailer created by fans....

And here are the lyrics for Heartbeat by The Knife

One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away

Both under influence
We had divine sense
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, no

One night of magic rush
The start, a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief

Ten days of perfect tunes
The colours red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, oh

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me

And you
You knew the hand of the devil

And you
Kept us awake with wolves' teeth
Sharing different heartbeats in one night

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me