LIfe in Transformation.
Directed by Godfrey Reggio.
IRE Productions, Santa Fe, 1985.
POWAQQATSI's overall focus is on natives of the Third World - the emerging, land-based cultures of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America - and how they express themselves through work and traditions. What it has to say about these cultures is an eyeful and then some, sculpted to allow for varied interpretations.
Where KOYAANISQATSI dealt with the imbalance between nature and modern society, POWAQQATSI is a celebration of the human-scale endeavor the craftsmanship, spiritual worship, labor and creativity that defines a particular culture. It's also a celebration of rareness - the delicate beauty in the eyes of an Indian child, the richness of a tapestry woven in Kathmandu - and yet an observation of how these societies move to a universal drumbeat.
POWAQQATSI is also about contrasting ways of life, and in part how the lure of mechanization and technology and the growth of mega-cities are having a negative effect on small-scale cultures.
The title POWAQQATSI is a Hopi Indian conjunctive - the word Powaqa, I which refers to a negative sorcerer who lives at the expense of others, and Qatsi -i.e., life.
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