Chronos - documentary

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Chronos is an abstract documentary film created by award-winning American filmmaker Ron Fricke. This film preceded the famous films Baraka (1992)  and Samsara (2011) and like those films, it too has no actors or dialogue using only imagery with specially built time-lapse cameras to depict the history of human civilization over 5 continents. All three of these documentaries follow up on each other's legacy with the most recent, Samsara using the same non-narrative documentary filmmaking techniques to capture stunning footage across 25 countries. 


The film begins with a pre-history to humans, through to Egypt, Rome and the rise of Western Europe. The centrepiece of the Chronos documentary is European culture but not entirely as it also focuses on the passing of seasons and the transition of night and day around the world. Each one of the shots was meticulously set-up to provide a stunning photographic view of the world which is tangled in symbolism making Chronos more of a piece of artwork than just a documentation of the world we live in.


This was the third experimental documentary film Frickle made after, Koyaanisqatsi (1982), Atomic Artist (1982) and remains one of his most renowned works to date. It is recommended that watch all of these documentaries in chronological order as Ron states each one of the films is an evolution, adding to the images presented in its predecessor. His latest work was as the cinematographer in the 2013 Mystery Adventure documentary directed by Lola Creel “Journey of Hanuman” which has similar themes to the aforementioned films though this film does not seem to be available anywhere online.

Art, Nature, Society

Ron Fricke
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