Chronos recounts the story of Western Civilization without uttering a single word. Award-winning filmmaker Ronald J. Fricke and composer Michael Stearns created a symphony of images and sounds that captures the essence of time. Chronos, which is the ancient Greek word for time, reveals life as an ever-changing phenomenon, a matrix of historical monuments–organic and man-made, majestic and everlasting. Through the influence of accelerating time, the camera follows the transition of human intelligence from the remnants of the Nile civilization to the high technology of North America and Europe.

Length: 42:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 1985
  • Date Released:
    May 1985
  • Alternate Titles:
  • Status: In Distribution
  • 3D: No
  • Run Time: 31-50
  • Formats: 15/70
  • Distributor:
  • Produced By:
    Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, S.E.M. Les Productions La Geode, Magidson Films, Canticle Films Ltd.
  • Executive Producer: Mark Magidson
  • Producer: Ron Fricke, Jeffrey Kirsch
  • Director:  Ron Fricke
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer: 
  • Cinematography: Ron Fricke
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects:
  • Music/Score:  Michael Stearns
  • Editor: Ron Fricke, Alton Walpole
  • Narrator:
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors:


  • Documentary
  • Historical
  • Nature



IMAX Hall of Fame, 2013

Film Facts

Fricke, whose film Koyaaniqatsi was a 1993 FILMEX Audience Award Winner, developed a camera for Chronos which has the capacity to shoot computer-precise, motion-controlled, time-lapsed cinematography.