Nostalgia for the Light
Directed by Patricio Guzmán
90 mins, 2010, 35 mm, Colour – Spanish, with English subtitles
An engrossing exploration of the connections between pasts human, political and celestial, the new documentary by Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, Salvador Allende) places his ongoing quest to expose the brutal truths about the Pinochet dictatorship within a truly cosmic dimension.
In the Atacama desert, one of the world’s largest astronomical telescopes peers deeply into space, aided by the lack of humidity in its arid surroundings. That same climate makes the desert an ideal location for preserving the crimes of the national past, as the astronomer’s exploration coincides with the ongoing discovery of mummified remains of the “disappeared,” the murdered opponents of Pinochet’s regime. Paralleling the quest to discover the secrets of the stars with that of the relatives of the disappeared to find the bodies of their departed, Guzmán makes thoughtful and unexpected links between these separate but related searches for truth.
– Toronto International Film Festival