April 2nd, 2015

Burning Man and the Meaning of Life...

~Thursday~  My friend Joe and I were browsing through hulu.com looking for a movie to watch, and having a friend who is pretty much a "regular" attendee of Burning Man, the documentary Burning Man and the Meaning of Life (2013) caught my attention.


Joe hadn't heard of the event, so I filled him in about it at a very high level. With that, and reading the synopsis, he agreed to watch it.

The synopsis

A documentary that blends the unique backdrop of the Burning Man festival with the burning question: "What is the meaning of life?"

The trailer

My thoughts and observations

  • I wanted to like this film more than I did. Even though it's right there in the title, I didn't expect the whole movie (pretty much) to be hearing people share their thoughts on what the meaning of life is. Needless to say, the answers got a little repetitive.

  • I wanted to see more of the art and activities, as well as gain some insight into what brought different people there—other than to discover the meaning of life.

  • I did learn that there are 10 Burning Man principles:
    1. Radical inclusion
    2. Radical self-reliance
    3. Communal effort
    4. Participation
    5. Radical self-expression
    6. Gifting
    7. Decommodification
    8. Civic responsibility
    9. Leave no trace
    10. Immediacy
  • I was not at all surprised that the word "radical" appeared in several of the principles.

  • I wondered about the "leave no trace" principle. I know that everything (for the most part) is burned, but it seems hard to believe that some of the huge structures you see there end up burning completely to ashes. The Internet, being what it is, though, describes the principle, complete with instructions with headings such as, "Greening your burn," "Matter out of place," "How to conduct a line sweep," and "Burning stuff."

  • I gave this movie one thumb up.

Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?