Life out of Balance

Reading time: 1 min

Koyaanisqatsi – borrowed from a friend, watched last week.

“If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster. Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky. A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans.”

The Hopi Prophecies are sung throughout this film, and I guess sums it up quite well.

The movie itself has no dialogue and, and this is to belittle the impact it has, is little more than a series of moving images set over music (provided by Philip Glass). As the first part of a trilogy, released in 1983, “the film is an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds — urban life and technology versus the environment.”

Now, I don’t want to over analyse this movie (for I fear the wrath of dg) but it’s hard not to discuss it without resorting to very descriptive and emotive language. Those images, and the haunting music, soon drag you in and I found myself transfixed, pondering life and my place in the grand scheme of things. It’s rare that I get so absorbed in this kind of art, and I think it’s very much something to watch when you are in the right mood, and even then many people will dismiss it as ‘nonsense masquerading as art’, but it is certainly unique.

I was moved by many of the scenes, some are quite brutal, some poignant, and the way it’s filmed seems to help you blend your own emotions into what you are watching on the screen. I’d love to see this on a cinema screen where I think the visual impact would be breathtaking. Not for everyone, but definitely one to watch.