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For his new film master director Patricio Guzmán, famed for his political documentaries (THE BATTLE OF CHILE, SALVADOR ALLENDE), travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains 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 universe. The Atacama 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, 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 women, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.
Stunningly beautiful. I don't know how you can put more into a film, or make one that's more deeply moving. --Stuart Klawans, The Nation
Deeply Affecting! Critics Pick. --New York Magazine
The film is gorgeous, purposefully slow, almost a meditation. Guzmán tells us life in the Atacama Desert is an eternal book of memories. And he lingers on every page, capturing shots of constellations with the care of a master photographer. Imagine Ansel Adams, working in colour, let loose in the Milky Way. --Stephen Cole, The Globe and Mail