7.3/10
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36 user 41 critic

Powaqqatsi (1988)

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

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Cast

Credited cast:
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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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 September 1988 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Northsouth: Life on the Edge  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$589,244
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This time, Philip Glass actually accompanied Reggio when he went scouting for locations throughout the Third World. Hence his screen credit as a dramaturgical consultant, ie, he was preparing music for the film while it was being shot, not exclusively afterwards. See more »

Connections

Followed by Naqoyqatsi (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A film for our age
29 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

This film is, according to its director, a look at a "global culture"; a visual assessment of the response of the "third world" to the force of globalization and the pressure to modernize. He says there are both good points and bad points to be observed, and hopes to portray the creativity and industriousness with which people around the world respond to the demands of their environments.

I do not see this. I see a moving, and beautiful film, but not about this. I see the destructive effects of the ever-increasing commodification of nature, life, and labor, on people as they are forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods to nationalist projects and capital ventures. I see (to use Karl Polanyi's words) the uprooting of peoples and places, and the destructive forces of market enterprise disguised under tropes of progress and modernity.

Yes. Human beings are creative and industrious, and have dealt with these problems in unique and fascinating ways. But, rather than simply celebrating the Beauty of Human Life, in all it's glory, let this film be a call to recognize this beauty, and recognize its value as intrinsic, as part and parcel to the livelihoods of the people it is embodied within.


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