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For his new film, master director Patricio Guzmán, famed for his political documentaries
capturing the history and politics of Chile (The Battle of Chile, Salvador Allende, The
Pinochet Case), travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth. Atop the
mountains of the Atacama Desert, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe
the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the
The Atacama Desert is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human
remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and
the remains of political prisoners, “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the military
coup of September 11, 1973.
So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the
mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped
here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim
their families’ histories.
Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the Chilean
women, Nostalgia for the Light is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.


Added by Joseph Valle on February 7, 2011

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