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


Godfrey Reggio


Godfrey Reggio





Credited cast:
Belladonna ... Self
Marlon Brando ... Self (archive footage)
Elton John ... Self (archive footage)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Self (archive footage)
Madonna ... Self (archive footage)
Bhagwan Mirchandani ... Business Man
Jack Shamblin ... Atomic Adam
Steven Soderbergh ... 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 »

Did You Know?


All identifiable material seems to originate in 4/3 aspect ratio. It seems an artistic choice to render them in "wrong" 16/9, just like the frequent negative filming. See more »

Crazy Credits

Studio Feng Shui ... Marti Lovell See more »


References Hyperdelic E-Mission (1991) See more »

User Reviews

8 September 2002 | by goeastyoungmanSee all my reviews

Naqoyqatsi director Reggio, on the official Naqoyqatsi web site, says of the current chokehold that technology has on the world and all in it: "So forget science fiction. We now live the fiction of science. We are now, not in some remote future, cyborgs. We are at one with our environment - we are technology. In this wonderland, freedom becomes the pursuit of our technological happiness. Our standard of living is predicated on commodity consumption, as the shibboleth of the new religion is 'pray for more'."

Congratulations, "Greensleeves", initial reviewer of this movie. Your review is a thing of beauty, because it carries the theme of the movie beyond the moviehouse. You say this movie is like "being led by some higher force on a trip that shows you what is really going on". I have a beautiful picture in my head of Reggio handing this movie to you and explaining that it's a CAT scan of your soul. You stare into the digital image, and all you see is cavernous, black nothingness. Your response? "Its the most powerful film I think I have ever seen, because it is sooo relevant to life. Some of it is kind of weird (so is life) and your not sure what it is all about at the time (so is life), but for days after, images from the film keep coming back to me and the impact and power of their message keeps filling my mind." Your analysis is not to analyze, but to relate the directionless ramblings of your subconscious mind and to laud the intensity of the visual stimulation you received.

God is dead, our veins pulse with bits in binary, and our sole response is one of WHOA, DUDE.


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Release Date:

21 January 2003 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Naqoyqatsi: Life as War See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,154, 20 October 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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