Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War) (2002)


Critic Consensus: The weakest film in Reggio's trilogy.


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Movie Info

Filmmaker, philosopher and activist Godfrey Reggio completes the film trilogy he began with Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi in this visually striking examination of the impact of technology upon our culture. Naqoyqatsi is a word from the Hopi language which roughly translates as "war as a way of life" or "a life of killing each other," and in this film Reggio uses a intense barrage of images - most of which have been drawn from existing film footage and then altered using a variety of optical and digital techniques - to express his belief that technology is no longer at war with nature. Instead, we have allowed technology to become the "nature" in which we live, and as it stretches our physical and emotional environment in new and troubling directions, we have created for ourselves a world of greater chaos, violence, and confusion. As with his previous features in this trilogy, Naqoyqatsi features an original score by Philip Glass, featuring cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma; director Steven Soderbergh, a noted admirer of Reggio's first two films, served as executive producer.

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Critic Reviews for Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War)

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (18)

If the message seems more facile than the earlier films, the images have such a terrible beauty you may not care.

May 28, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

At its best, Naqoyqatsi awakens the eyes, but it doesn't really do much to tweak the conscience. It's difficult to feel a sense of outrage while you're in a trance.

Feb 14, 2003 | Rating: C+

If you open yourself up to Mr. Reggio's theory of this imagery as the movie's set ... it can impart an almost visceral sense of dislocation and change.

Jan 30, 2003 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Filmmaking at its purest and most visceral.

Nov 15, 2002 | Full Review…

Pretentious, ponderous and redundant."

Nov 15, 2002

Feels like a bloated mass of data without much coherence.

Nov 8, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4

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