“Burning Man and the Meaning of Life” starts out largely like most other videos of Burning Man. Flashes of beautiful footage of the Burn, melting every burners heart and immediately creating that sense of longing we all feel for our home. Yet the tone of film is decidedly different than most other films of TTITD. Instead of the loud electronica that often accompanies all sparkly shots of our beloved Playa, “Burning Man and the Meaning of Life” is much more subdued. Some light strumming and a clear, soft spoken voice-over set the stage for this film that is largely about philosophy.
The star of the film actually isn’t the “Burning Man” event itself, but the people of Burning Man. Most of the hour or so documentary is real burners at Burning Man 2011 – Rites of Passage. They aren’t dancing or running around in funny costumes doing weird things. They’re taking directly to the camera and all of us about some of the hardest unanswerable questions in life.
What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? The answers that this random collection of burners come up with are as varied as one would expect from our eclectic brethren. There are occasional bits of rambling but mostly the film does a fantastic job of splitting up the responses in a dynamic and interesting way. More importantly, there are moments of absolute magic and truth that pour out into the universe as well as some lines that are just plain hilarious. There are just too many good tidbits to highlight them all but there are few that must be mentioned.
“I consider Burning Man to be boot camp for the soul.”
“You’re introducing people to a glimmer of their own divinity through your art.”
“Burning Man is the biggest expression of creative freedom on the planet.”
And my personal favorite,
“Just be silly and love each other.”
The film is straight forward in its format. Take burners, put them in a box with a camera and ask them what the meaning of life is. Although the concept sounds almost too simple, the end result is something well worth watching.