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      Powaqqatsi

      G Released May 3, 1988 1 hr. 37 min. Documentary List
      56% 9 Reviews Tomatometer 81% 5,000+ Ratings Audience Score Experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio explores the intersection of primitive cultures and the industrial world in this documentary, chronicling the everyday lives of people living and working in impoverished countries, where modern life is fraught with difficulty. The film spans the globe, from a massive gold mine in Brazil, to small villages in Africa, to a Nepalese temple, and is accompanied by a frantic score from minimalist composer Philip Glass. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered May 16 Buy Now

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      Powaqqatsi

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (201) audience reviews
      Jen L I watched this with Philip Glass performing the music live with students from Juilliard. It was an encompassing event. I'm autistic and it was one of the most interesting sensory experiences I've had. Still profoundly relevant today. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/01/23 Full Review Audience Member The most-real 01 hour: and 37 minutes ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Directed by Godfrey Reggio, Powaqqatsi is the sequel to Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and the second film in the Qatsi trilogy. This is one of the few, if only, Cannon movies in the Criterion Collection. It's also the only Golan and Globus released film with a Phillip Glass soundtrack. In fact, Glass also traveled to the locations with Reggio so that he could get a feel for the music that the movie needed. The name of this movie comes from a term Reggio came up with that means "parasitic way of life" or "life in transition." While the original film had a focus on modern life in industrial countries, the sequel focuses on the conflict in Third World countries between the old ways and how life has changed after the spread o industrialization. From men carrying gold up and down a mountain in Brazil to images of villages, islands, religion, people in motion, traffic and the intrusion of advertising, you get the feeling that man is just taking up space on a planet that doesn't need us, or as Roger Ebert wrote, "Reggio seemed to think that man himself is some kind of virus infecting the planet — that we would enjoy Earth more, in other words, if we weren't here." Reggio wasn't fully on board with using the latest in movie technology considering that his theme for the film is finding a way to return to basic life. However, he realized that technology was ingrained into our way of life and that it would allow him the best format for sharing his philosophy. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member I recommend this film to anyone who enjoyed Koyaanisqatsi. For me personally, this movie fell short in terms of impact compared to the first movie. However, I don't believe it is as much a result of the design as it is the ability for me to relate and fill in the gaps. Watching the first movie, I was able to connect my experience as a US viewer who has been to and experienced the places and atmospheres portrayed in it such as American metropolises and Southwestern landscapes/national parks. Now, I have never visited the countries shown here, and I'm sure most of the target audience of this movie have not had extensive experience in these counties to be able to relate what's onscreen to their perception. The odds are already stacked against this film's goal; its going to be incredibly hard to accurately and powerfully portray the experience of the people living in multiple countries across the world in an hour and a half film. The first movie was running under the assumption and benefit that many viewers already have their own feelings and experience with life in industrialized countries and their major cities. Powaqqatsi, however, requires that viewers trust it's portrayal of life in these countries, unless they have the unique experience of how it actually is to live there. Due to this obstacle, this film felt more like the whole thing was stuck being an exposition, rather than having the freedom of assumption to be able to turn my perception on its head the way Koyaanisqatsi was able to. I do think it is imperative to note this this was my takeaway as a US viewer with limited international experience. What I love about these films is that they are so open ended that it allows the viewer to come up with their own conclusions. The way it makes one feel is in a way a reflection of our own subconscious inclinations paired with the artistic decisions of the filmmakers and music creators. All things considered, I would still recommend this film to anyone who enjoyed the first, and would encourage one to come to their own conclusion. That's the beauty of this series. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review john m It doesn't progress and become the visual achievement it should be. It's mostly a bunch of good shots to the same repetitive score that pretty much loses all it has to say by the first 20 minutes. Godfrey Reggio has a great way with tone but I think there was no inspiration coming from this piece which is a shame because the ideas are definitely there. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member ♦️ I liked the soundtrack better in POWAQQATSI than KOYAANISQATSI. ♦️ Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      Gene Siskel Chicago Tribune This film is not in the same league with its fine predecessor, Koyaanisqatsi. Rated: 1.5/4 Dec 6, 2018 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times There are images of astonishing beauty in Godfrey Reggio's Powaqqatsi, sequences when we marvel at the sights of the Earth, and yet when the film is over there is the feeling that we are still waiting for it to begin. Rated: 2/4 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Mark Bourne DVDJournal.com Reggio's work may be mesmerizing and technically engrossing, but it's also narrowly self-righteous. Instead of expanding our consciousness, he instead seeks to squeeze it into his point of view through a movie that tries to tell us what to think. Apr 6, 2006 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 11, 2005 Full Review Derek Smith Cinematic Reflections 'shows the consequences of what we have done in the past and the danger of where we are heading' Rated: 4/4 Feb 28, 2004 Full Review Ryan Cracknell Apollo Guide Rated: 4/5 Sep 29, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio explores the intersection of primitive cultures and the industrial world in this documentary, chronicling the everyday lives of people living and working in impoverished countries, where modern life is fraught with difficulty. The film spans the globe, from a massive gold mine in Brazil, to small villages in Africa, to a Nepalese temple, and is accompanied by a frantic score from minimalist composer Philip Glass.
      Director
      Godfrey Reggio
      Executive Producer
      George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Yoram Globus, Menahem Golan
      Distributor
      Cannon Films
      Production Co
      Golan-Globus Productions, Santa Fe Institute for Regional Education, NorthSouth Productions
      Rating
      G
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 3, 1988, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 4, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $75.8K
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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