After the events at COP26 in Glasgow, we are due a film about the environment (and not before time!).
Often, environmental or green films feature an individual fighting against a larger organisation (a corporation or a government) something in the manner of Dr. Thomas Stockman in Ibsen’s drama Enemy of the People. One popular example from Hollywood is Erin Brokovich (2000).
Koyanaasqatsi (1982) is very different. Directed by Godfrey Reggio, with music by Philip Glass, it is a poetic depiction, a collage, of often breathtaking images taken from all four corners of the world, highlighting the impact and interplay of humanity on the natural world.
There is no story, no dialogue, only a periodic chanting of the title which over the running time of the film steadily speeds up. The title is taken from the language of the Native American Hopi people and means “life out of balance”.
It is part of a trilogy. The other two films are Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi — Life in Transformation and Life as War respectively.
These are films which are out of the ordinary and quite unique, definitely worth seeing and easily available on DVD.