MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 77 this week

Powaqqatsi (1988)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,265 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 40 critic

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 06 Jan 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 03 Sep 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Powaqqatsi" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Powaqqatsi (1988)

Powaqqatsi (1988) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Powaqqatsi.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Chronos (1985)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Carefully picked scenes of nature and civilization are viewed at high speed using time-lapse cinematography in an effort to demonstrate the history of various regions.

Director: Ron Fricke
Visitors (2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Director Godfrey Reggio reveals humanity's trance-like relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Baraka (1992)
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion.

Director: Ron Fricke
Totality (1999)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A unique look at total eclipses, capturing the experience within the scenery of a wide range of settings around the planet, from ancient ruins to city skylines. Totality is constantly ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Mallery
Naqoyqatsi (2002)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A visual montage portrait of our contemporary world dominated by globalized technology and violence.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Stars: Belladonna, Marlon Brando, Elton John
Journey of Hanuman (Video 2013)
Documentary | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

"JOURNEY OF HANUMAN" Preserves moments still existing in India that have not been disturbed by globalization and are connected with the antique spiritual knowledge of India. I wanted to ... See full summary »

Director: Lola Creel
Stars: Peter Coyote, Arun Mathai, Bekah Rife
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After an excerpt from 'Baraka (1992)', featuring the music of Dead Can Dance, we see them in concert in Santa Monica CA, alternated with interview sequences with the lead members (Lisa ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Magidson
Stars: Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, Brendan Perry
Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Stars: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel
Samsara I (2011)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.

Director: Ron Fricke
Stars: Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The film provides a metaphorical visual meaning to the verses of an ancient spiritual composition that has been sung and chanted across the globe. Our understanding of the divine has ... See full summary »

Director: Charuvi Agrawal
Evidence (1995)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A haunting look at children watching television.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Sacred Site (1986)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Ron Fricke
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
(archive footage)
David Brinkley ...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life in Transformation

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 January 1989 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Northsouth: Life on the Edge  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$589,244 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the last films to be produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's Cannon group, a film company generally not noted for its highbrow output. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Truman Show (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Worthy Continuation of Reggio's Vision
15 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don't worry: no spoilers here. I felt the need to rebut several of the negative reviews I have read about this film ( both here and, most notably, from critics Maltin and Ebert). This film follows a totally different concept from "Koyaanisqatsi," which concentrated on largely inanimate structures in the continental U.S. This is a film about people and lifestyles of the developing world, and for that I believe Reggio chose wisely not to utilize many specialty visual techniques (i.e. time-lapse and high-speed photography), and settle for a more low-key approach. Though the film cannot match the visceral gee-whiz impact the original 1983 audience must have felt with all the revolutionary visual stylistics of "Koyaanisqatsi," "Powaqqatsi" has greater thematic depth. Essentially, "Koyaanisqatsi" was best at impressing the audience, and this film is better at making the audience think. To tackle such a wide-ranging subject as globalization is a tricky task, yet I believe this film to be the best cinematic portrayal I have seen of the effects of modernity upon the 75% of the world that still lives much of its life the same way it did hundreds of years ago.

All of the shots of people working, carrying baskets on their heads, etc. show the immense effort required in the third world to carry on an industrial revolution one hundred years behind the West, and in a much shorter span of time. Essentially, the societies in the Periphery are being forced to play catch-up. The imagery of the fallen laborer being carried up a hill (the opening shots of the film which are later referenced at the end) represents the immense hard work and sacrifice necessary to build a modern society - an idea lost upon many in the First World, who protest the working conditions of societies on the Periphery, yet do not realize that their own Western industrial revolutions faced the exact same hazards, tribulations, and hardships one hundred years ago - yet did eventually manage to emerge successfully. Like "Koyaanisqatsi," "Powaqqatsi" is a film one can view multiple times and absorb new meanings upon each viewing.

The structure of the film is the same as that of "Koyaanisqatsi", which I believe is the most important consistency between this film and the first in Reggio's trilogy. Both films are divided into three distinct sections: primitive/archaic life, early industrial life, and finally full-fledged modern existence (lifestyle, or "-qatsi", being the connecting thread within and between the films). In addition, Philip Glass score is a superb accompaniment to the visual images. Otherwise, the films are not at all alike, and should not be unduly compared to one another. Both films show their American audience something they have not seen before: in "Koyaanisqatsi" it is simply themselves from a very different angle, and in "Powaqqatsi" it is the rest of the world.


32 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Similar Visual Movies crappydoo
Disappointing waste of time Ellsass
totally exploitative stymon
powaqqatsi dobro-1
would you recomend it? lambshankstew
Wonderful film Deccus
Discuss Powaqqatsi (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page