Experiencing Lois Patiño’s “Samsara” in a cinema in Breda with 20 individuals, all strangers to each other, adds an even more intriguing layer to the viewing experience. The film’s immersive and meditative qualities, inviting viewers to journey through the concepts of life, death, and rebirth, present a unique opportunity for introspection and connection.

The collective act of closing one’s eyes in a room full of strangers, to embark on a guided sensory journey, transcends the traditional boundaries of cinema. It creates a shared space of vulnerability and openness, where the boundaries between the self and others blur, if only for the duration of the film. This aspect of “Samsara” can make the cinematic experience profoundly personal yet universally connecting, as it taps into the fundamental cycles of existence that every viewer, regardless of their background or beliefs, can relate to on some level.

Moreover, the setting of the film in distinct and distant locations like Laos and Zanzibar, explored through the lives of characters portrayed by non-professional actors, adds to the authenticity and depth of the experience. It invites viewers to contemplate not just the narrative on the screen but also their own lives and the interconnectedness of all beings.

Despite being strangers, we shared a moment of profound collective experience that transcends mere visual consumption. “Samsara” serves as a bridge, connecting individuals through the universal themes of life, death, and the cycles that encompass all existence. The film’s innovative approach to storytelling and its emphasis on sensory experience over traditional narrative structures make it a powerful tool for reflection and connection, reminding us of the shared human journey we are all on, despite our superficial differences.