The best thing about Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is the creation sequence—the big bang, the formation of galactic clouds, the blaze of newborn stars, the cooling of the planets, and so on.

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Yakona, a film by Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda, is pretty much this kind of Malickian (and even Tarkovskian) thing but for 85 minutes and centered not on the whole universe but the evolution, history, and present-day movement of an old river, San Marcos, which is in Texas.

We see the many and sometimes even strange life forms at its bottom, we see what looks like the formation of the biosphere in its bubbles, we see humans in the past fighting on its bank or in the present floating on its surface. The documentary is very impressive and enchants the eye with its stream of poetic images. It also has almost no narration; it simply wants us to watch in wonder. recommended