Mar 26, 2012

The life unbalanced.

I watched Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, for the first time in almost 29 years last night (second time overall). This is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass (his best work, IMHO) and cinematography by Ron Fricke. Still powerful-good stuff. Highly recommended. But... perhaps Reggio (and certainly most reviewers) missed the point of his own complaint.

While the focus is on man's quest for technology and its abuses and misuses, mankind gets let off the hook a bit. Reggio was a novitiate for over a decade at a Roman Catholic monastery in northern New Mexico for over a decade prior to making this movie.  It shows in the film's almost Benedictine rhythms of life. And yet, what the film doesn't show is where life is truly unbalanced. Sin against God. Sin is perhaps left out of the film's equation (except sin against Mother Earth), while at the same time being that equation, because sin ultimately comes back on each of us in a way that damning impersonal technology never does.

This is a powerful film about sin, about rebellion against the Creator. But perhaps it focuses on the symptoms, not the disease. Perhaps that is an area we don't want to look into.

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