Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke. The title “Koyaanisqatsi” is a Hopi Indian word meaning “life out of balance.” Personally speaking, this is one of the most mesmerizing works of art I’ve ever seen.
The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. Reggio explains the lack of dialogue by stating “it’s not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It’s because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live.” Thirty years later hasn’t helped matters to say the least.
The film is the first in the Qatsi trilogy of films: it is followed by Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationship between humans, nature, and technology. Koyaanisqatsi is the best known of the trilogy and is considered a cult film. So let’s all sit back and enjoy as America sinks further into a pit of unholy hellishness.