<i>Megacities</i> is a revelatory documentary that probes both the micro and macrocosm of human experience, drawing an archetypal sketch of life in the Big City at the dawn of a new millennium. It is at once a cutting
commentary on the socially marginalized and poverty stricken and a comprehensive vision of “the world city,” the dominant habitat for
the majority of the Earth’s population. It is panglobal in its scope, examining the lives of four families in four different megacities, ultimately constructing one “story” that takes on a universal appeal.
This film essay offers impressions of everyday life in all its variety and complexity. Intermingling street scenes with individual portraits of citizens from Mexico City, Bombay, New York, and Moscow, <i>Megacities</i> exposes divergent forms of urban living in metropolises thousands of kilometers away from one another. These people may be poles apart, geographically and culturally, but there are close parallels in their daily existence.
<i>Megacities</i> covers the spectrum from exotic to well-known territories, from the man who sells cooked chicken feet in Mexico to the young woman operating a factory crane in Moscow. Austrian director Michael Glawogger records his impressions of city existence in a manner recalling the sumptuous style of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi. The film doesn’t balk at revealing what constitutes urban life for a staggering proportion of the Earth’s population: the cruel realities of prostitution, homelessness, crime, and drug addiction. But <i>Megacities</i> is also a testament to the courage and dignity of those who manage to survive, day after day, in our sprawling metropolises.
Michael Glawogger, Director
Michael Glawogger was born in Graz, Austria, in 1959. He attended film school in Vienna and San Francisco. Now resident in Vienna, Glawogger has worked as both screenwriter and cameraman on numerous Austrian films in addition to helming his own features: Krief in Wien in 1989 and Die Ameisenstrasse in 1995. Megacities is his second documentary film.