Laos. A young buddhist monk is crossing the river every day. An old woman is preparing for death on the other shore. The young man is reading ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’ to her - a guide helping not to get lost on the way to reincarnation. Once the spirit of the old lady leaves her body, he utters the last words into her ear and starts a meditation to lead her on the transformation journey. We close our eyes. We emerge in Tanzania, where women are working at the seaweed farm.

Lois Patiño (b. 1983) studied psychology and filmmaking in Madrid, New York and Barcelona. His films have been shown at film festivals such as Cannes, Berlinale, Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam, New York. His films and video installations have been seen in art centers such as MoMA and Pompidou Center in Paris among others. Harvard University awarded him the scholarship intended for emerging filmmakers "with an independent spirit, who explore diverse cultures with a deep aesthetic sensibility". Lois Patiño is part of the generation of Galician filmmakers called 'Novo Cinema Galego'. Their films share a certain degree of experimentation, breakdown of narrative structures and inclusion of local film and resident communities.

Director Lois Patiño offers a new experience to the audience. By the sound and the lights he is guiding the spectators of the film across the edge of the known world. The process of watching the film is parallel to the cycle of life, death and rebirth and induces the unique meditation. Also, it creates a possibility to sense the invisible ties among people, cultures and distant geographical locations.

Samsara delves into some constants that I have been exploring in my work: the reflection on the relationship between human being and landscape, an anthropological interest focused especially on the mythical and spiritual or the desire to take the viewer into an intimate and meditative experience. I continue to work from this Freudian concept of "oceanic feeling": feeling part of the Whole, as the drop of water is an indivisible part of the Ocean; an idea of ​​spiritual communion also present in the concept of Buddhist Enlightenment. In Samsara I wanted to take the “emptying” of the image one step further and explore more deeply the idea and representation of the invisible in cinema. That's how I thought of making a movie to watch with your eyes closed. I also wanted to bring the cinematographic experience even closer to the meditative one and try to become the theatre into a collective meditation.

Spain, 2023, 113 min, 16 mm, Lao, Swwahili

Director: Lois Patiño

Screenwriters: Garbiñe Ortega, Lois Patiño

DOPs: Mauro Herce, Jessica Sarah Rinland

Editor: Lois Patiño

Sound: Xabier Erkizia

Executive producers: Claudia Salcedo, Garbiñe Ortega, Leire Apellaniz

Producers: Sr&Sra

Cast: Amid Keomany, Toumor Xiong, Simone Milavanh, Mariam Vuaa Mtego, Juwairiya Idrisa Uwesu