Powaqqatsi is a Hopi word meaning “parasitic way of life” or “life in transition”. While Koyaanisqatsi focused on modern life in industrial countries, Powaqqatsi, which similarly has no dialogue, focuses more on the conflict in third world countries between traditional ways of life and the new ways of life introduced with industrialization. As with Koyaanisqatsi and the third and final part of the ‘Qatsi’ trilogy, Naqoyqatsi, the film is strongly related to its soundtrack, written by Philip Glass. Here, human voices (especially children’s and mainly from South America and Africa) appear more than in Koyaanisqatsi, in harmony with the film’s message and images. —IMDb
Godfrey Reggio (born March 29, 1940) is an American director of experimental documentary films.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, and La Gente, a community-organizing project in Northern New Mexico’s barrios. In 1963 he co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project that aided juveniles among the street gangs in Santa Fe. In 1972, he co-founded the Institute for Regional Education in Santa Fe, a non-profit foundation focused on media development, the arts, community organization, and research.
Reggio has been involved in many progressive political causes in the United States, including work for the American Civil Liberties Union, co-organizing a multi-media public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior. Reggio resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is currently focusing… read more
In my opinion, Koyaanisqatsi remains as one of the best films by Reggio. Anyway Powaqqatsi is a terrific film, it exposes people in their poor conditions, with the familiar camera movements that the director accustomed us. His look in this film is much more expository and raw that in the other 2 from the trilogy.
I wanted to like this. Certainly, the film cannot be faulted for being aesthetically displeasing, but the themes were mired in a National Geographic vision of the world.
Godfrey Reggio forsakes the sped up time lapses of KOYAANISQATSI for a more slow motion approach, exploring third world cultures for a glorious exploration of human life at its most basic. Captures the essence of life away from the hustle and bustle of the more developed world. Its lingering close ups on careworn and yet peaceful faces are haunting and strangely spiritual.