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Powaqqatsi, or Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, is the 1988 sequel to the experimental 1982 documentary film Koyaanisqatsi, by Godfrey Reggio. It is the second film in the Qatsi trilogy.

Powaqqatsi is a Hopi word meaning "parasitic way of life" or "life in transition". While Koyaanisqatsi focused on modern life in industrial countries, Powaqqatsi, which similarly has no dialogue, focuses more on the conflict in third world countries between traditional ways of life and the new ways of life introduced with industrialization. As with Koyaanisqatsi and the third and final part of the 'Qatsi' trilogy, Naqoyqatsi, the film is strongly related to its soundtrack, written by Philip Glass. Here, human voices (especially children's and mainly from South America and Africa) appear more than in Koyaanisqatsi, in harmony with the film's message and images.


In the beginning chapter, "Serra Pelada", men from Serra Pelada (a gold mine in Brazil) are seen carrying bags of dirt up to a destination. In the middle of the chapter, various shots outside of Serra Pelada are shown. Near the end of the chapter, a few men are carrying another man who was struck by a falling rock (mentioned in the "Impact of progress" feature on the DVD) uphill along a procession of workers who are carrying dirt filled sacks. After that, several discordant layered exposures of the dirt carriers are shown. The scene cross fades to show the image of a head, with multiple exposures of the same head rapidly rotating and layered upon to give a manifold appearance. This is an apparent allusion to Janus, the god of beginnings, endings and transitions, keeping with the film's central themes of progress and change. After that, the film's title is shown in red.
The juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern in Powaqqatsi
In Anthem: Part 1, The sun rises up above an African village. One of the most popular scenes in this chapter is one of a man raising a sail for a boat. Then there's a scene where the sail is completely up, showing off all its beauty. The next chapter, That Place starts zooming out from a waterfall. Kids can be heard laughing. Villages are shown as well as kids and upside down water reflections. Anthem: Part 2 Has various shots of villages and island shown. The haunting musical score was also used in the 1998 film The Truman Show.

Mosque and Temple shows various natural shots as well as religious scenes. Some of these scenes are a transparent inside a church with someone walking by, a black man praying, a monk sitting while a bird flies off his stick, the same monk walking by the river, a bird flying by a sunset, more kids (similar to the final scene in "That Place"), crows flying above a river, two men rowing their boat in that river, a woman praying in the Ganges Rivermarker, two men doing Yoga, another monk, and a temple in Nepalmarker.

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