Godfrey Reggio

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Godfrey Reggio
Godfrey Reggio (1995) by Erling Mandelmann.jpg
Reggio in 1995
Born (1940-03-29) March 29, 1940 (age 82)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter

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


Reggio was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to an old and distinguished Louisiana family descended from Francesco M. de Reggio, an Italian nobleman who first settled in France and then in French Louisiana around 1750.

From the age of 14, Reggio spent the next fourteen years in fasting, times of silence, and prayer, training to be a friar within the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic pontifical teaching order. During his time with the order, Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and La Gente, a community-organizing project in northern New Mexico's barrios.[1][better source needed] In 1963 he co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project that aided juveniles in the street gangs of Santa Fe. After he left the order, 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, in 1972.

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 focuses on films 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 (1982), Powaqqatsi (1988), and Naqoyqatsi (2002). The film titles are taken from the Hopi language: Koyaanisqatsi meaning "life out of balance," Powaqqatsi meaning "life in transformation," and Naqoyqatsi meaning "life as war". The soundtracks for all three films were composed by Philip Glass.

In 1995 Reggio directed the short feature titled Evidence, another collaboration with Glass. He has also directed the documentary Anima Mundi, funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature to promote its diversity program.

Reggio's most recent film is Visitors, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[2] Philip Glass returned as the film's composer and Jon Kane as the visual designer (having worked on Naqoyqatsi with Reggio in 2002).

In 2014, Reggio was recognized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City with a full career retrospective titled Life with Technology: The Cinema of Godfrey Reggio.[3]


Year Name Director Writer Producer Notes
1982 Koyaanisqatsi Yes Yes Yes a.k.a. Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance
1988 Powaqqatsi Yes Yes Yes a.k.a. Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation
1989 Patricia's Park Yes Songlines video segment; short
1992 Anima Mundi Yes Yes a.k.a. The Soul of the World; short
Fated to Be Queer Yes Short
1995 Evidence Yes Short
2002 Naqoyqatsi Yes Yes Yes a.k.a. Naqoyqatsi: Life as War
2013 Visitors Yes Yes Yes
2018 Awaken Executive


  1. ^ "Koyaanisqatsi". Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  2. ^ Variety
  3. ^ "Life with Technology: The Cinema of Godfrey Reggio". Museum of Arts and Design. Museum of Arts and Design. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

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