Burning Man: The Burning Sensation Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A documentary look at the annual Burning Man arts festival in Northern Nevada.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A knockout documentary with a renegade personality ideally suited to its anarchic subject matter.
  2. The film feels like a violation of the festival's philosophy of "participants only, no spectators": Who, after all, is going to sit in a theater to see this but a spectator? It is fun stuff to look at, though.
  3. An appealing blend of counter-cultural idealism and hedonistic creativity.
  4. 60
    The overall vibe is druggy and self-indulgent, like a spring-break orgy for pretentious arts majors.
  5. Cynics may scoff, but the spirit of Woodstock -- not the 1999 debacle, but the 1969 original -- lives.
  6. 60
    It would be nearly impossible to make a totally bad documentary about the festival, but I have yet to see the perfect documentary depiction of Burning Man.
  7. 10
    As predictable as a segment of "MTV Spring Break," which at least doesn't try to hide its voyeurism, Burning looks more like a travel-agency video targeted at people who like to ride bikes topless and roll in the mud than a worthwhile glimpse of independent-community guiding lights.
Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
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