Paul Elliott’s review published on Letterboxd:
This beautifully designed experimental film from exploratory filmmaker Godfrey Reggio is an impressive mournful poem which evaluates the abandoned partnership between the natural environment and humankind.
It assumes the form of one of the most poignant rationalisations on the urgency for environmental protection while highlighting the adverse effects of an industrial society. It arranges it's images and sounds into an affecting cinematic commentary on the current state of civilisation for the duration of its utterly absorbing runtime, and achieves it without the necessity of a customary plot.
The material consists primarily of time-lapse and slow-motion footage of masterfully apprehended curious and unusual wonders together with an assortment of people and landscapes, all of which showcases Ron Fricke's breathtaking cinematography.
The methodical techniques of the film exist augmented with a beautiful and foreboding score by composer and pianist Philip Glass which is frequently and deliberately contentiously disruptive. Koyaanisqatsi is a stunning symphonic poem which simultaneously towers as a damning condemnation of contemporary civilisation.