I'm not trying to undersell Powaqqatsi (meaning 'parasite' in the Hopi language) but to emphasise the quality of the steady stream of images that unfold on us - and their subject matter.
Often of people doing things in third world countries and often in very slo-mo, always very colourful and beautifully and perfectly composed, this is a feast for the eyes - and the ears. Equally good is Philip Glass' excellent, haunting and eclectic score, that obviously wasn't just tacked on afterwards.
The film's intention is to highlight the way man has and is encroaching on nature - hence the title and its translation. Executive produced by mega directors of the period, Francis Ford Copolla and George Lucas, you can see that this was meant to hit big and hard. It could be argued, however, that the images don't go far enough - a certificate U means that the film is universally pretty and inoffensive, but what man has done to this planet isn't and a bolder approach would hit home harder and make its message clearer.
I still prefer Koyaanisqatsi (PC's spell-checker going mental!) to this as that veers more to slightly more exciting imagery. Do as I did and get the two film boxset.