Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation

  • Dir: Godfrey Reggio

  • USA, 1988, 100mins, DCP

In the second instalment of The Qatsi Trilogy, Reggio shifts from the Northern Hemisphere to the Third World nations in Southern Hemisphere. It opens with the emotive texture of slavery and hard labour, alternating between the choreographic labourers’ movement and shallow focus portraits of their enigmatic expressions. Is this the Roman Empire? Colonial exploitation? Or cinematic reenactment? The rest of the piece is a meditative space of industrial landscape taking over natural landscape. In the name of transformation, is it good use of nature or the destruction of it? Philip Glass’ music continues to facilitate us to stay with Reggio’s image procession, like moving through an estranging ceremony.