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





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Credited cast:
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Business Man
Jack Shamblin ...
Atomic Adam
Man reflected in digital screens (3rd segment)


In this cinematic concert, mesmerizing images are plucked from everyday reality, then visually altered with state-of-the-art digital techniques. The result is a chronicle of the shift from a world organized by the principles of nature to one dominated by technology, the synthetic and the virtual. Extremes of intimacy and spectacle, tragedy and hope fuse in a tidal wave of visuals and music, giving rise to a unique, artistic experience that reflects the vision of a brave new globalized world. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Test-drive the future See more »


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violent and disturbing images, and for brief nudity | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 January 2003 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

Naqoyqatsi: Life as War  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,154 (USA) (18 October 2002)


$132,026 (USA) (22 November 2002)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The word "Naqoyqatsi" is a noun from the Hopi language literally meaning "each other-kill many-life", as stated in the film's end roll. See more »

Crazy Credits

Studio Feng Shui ... Marti Lovell See more »


Follows Koyaanisqatsi (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

The exploration of the human kind continues scientifically, not intellectually.
17 March 2003 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

'Between innocence and politics' would be a Donnie Darkesque mistake to describe the experience of this movie. There's more than one dimension in the world of Reggio and Glass. Especially Jon Kane adds a dimension in my opinion. At times I was a bit disappointed that the creators couldn't resist the temptation of getting rather political and explicit. That wasn't necessary to entertain the audience more. Some may put it like certain sequences are on the verge of being political, but the engagement annoyed me. The Beastie Boys video 'Something's got to give' did it better.

Animation/CGI has been completely aesthetically accepted as means of returning to the level of part one with bits of Tron, bytes of the Matrix, snippets of 2001 and views of Avalon (Oshii, 2001). Together with Glass's magnificent tunes and 'skywalker sound' Naqoyqatsi almost reaches the massive level of Koyaanisqatsi.

Reggio and Kane return to computer-mainboards, cultivation of nature, escalation of conflicts, but this powerful and almost scientific exploration of all kinds of human conflicts still has little intellectual value. Not even if it featured a thousand computer generated symbols, Leonardo Da Vincis, Madame Tussauds, American presidents, Hieronymus Boschs, terrorists or babies. The explicit and excessive use of facial icons and expressions diminishes the universal value as well. I was charmed by the portrayal of internal fights that sportsmen and -women experience (but why did they forget rowing sequences?). It still is way better than the picturesque Powaqqatsi, not only because this has less stock shots, apart from some military parades and nuclear mushrooms. I'm glad Soderbergh shoved it forward. 8/10 (Koyaanisqatsi after reconsidering 9/10, Powaqqatsi 6/10)

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