Godfrey Reggio

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(1984)-Audience Award for Best Feature Film Koyaanisqatsi at the São Paulo International Film Festival (1988)-Audience Award for Koyaanisqatsi at the Warsaw International Film Festival

(1992)-Golden Conch Award for Best Non-Fiction Film Under 40 Minutes Duration for Anima Mundi at the Bombay International Documentary, Short and Animation Film Festival

Godfrey Reggio (born March 29, 1940) is an American director of experimental documentary films.



Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, and La Gente, a community-organizing project in Northern New Mexico's barrios[1]. In 1963 he co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project that aided juveniles among the street gangs in Santa Fe. In 1972, he co-founded the Institute for Regional Education in Santa Fe, a non-profit foundation focused on media development, the arts, community organization, and research.

Reggio has been involved in many progressive political causes in the United States, including work for the American Civil Liberties Union, co-organizing a multi-media public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior. Reggio resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is currently focusing on a narrative-based film exploring the negative impacts of consumerism and fundamentalism on the world. Godfrey Reggio participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2006.

Reggio is most known for his Qatsi trilogy, which includes the films Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi. All of the film titles are taken from the Hopi language; Koyaanisquatsi meaning "life out of balance," Powaqqatsi meaning "life in transformation," and Naqoyqatsi meaning "life as war." In 1995 he directed the short feature entitled Evidence that featured, like the Qatsi Trilogy, a soundtrack composed by his friend Philip Glass. Also, he has directed a documentary Anima Mundi. Reggio spent fourteen years in fasting, silence and prayer, training to be a monk within the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic pontifical order, before abandoning that path and making the films.


Source: Godfrey Reggio in Essence of Life, documentary film available on the DVD edition of Koyaanisqatsi

  • About the Qatsi films: "It's not that we use technology, we live technology. Technology has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, so we are no longer conscious of its presence. So what I decided to do in making these films is to rip out all the foreground of a traditional film—the foreground being the actors, the characterization, the plot, the story—I tried to take the background, all of that that's just supported like wallpaper, move that up into the foreground, make that the subject, ennoble it with the virtues of portraiture, and make that the presence."

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