NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT(2010) Chile, dir Patricio Guzmán [90 min]
I am convinced that memory has gravitational force," says Guzmán in conclusion. "Nostalgia" states his case so beautifully that even skeptical physicists will be thoroughly convinced. Seattle Times
For his new film, master director Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, The Pinochet Case) travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert. There, atop the mountains where the sky is so translucent that telescopes can see right to the boundaries of the universe, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. Meanwhile, at the base of the mountains, the harsh heat of the sun preserves secrets from the past: the remains of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th-century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners “disappeared” by the Chilean army in the 1970s. So it happens that, while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies above, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared, search below for the remains of their loved ones.
Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers with the earthly one of the women, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is a gorgeous and moving meditation on memory, history and eternity.
"NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is not only Guzmán’s masterpiece; it is one of the most beautiful cinematographic efforts we have seen for a long time. Its complex canvas is woven with the greatest simplicity. For forty years, Patricio Guzman has had to struggle every inch of the way, with a vivid memory and intimate suffering to reach this work of cosmic serenity, of luminous intelligence, with a sensitivity that could melt stone. At such a level, the film becomes more than a film. An insane accolade to mankind, a stellar song for the dead, a life lesson. Silence and respect." —Juan Mandelbaum, Le Monde
Even the WS Journal says "As a work of nonfiction, it deserves its own nomenclature. "Docu-poem" is too inelegant; "masterpiece" works, although it's been used before"
After the film we will go to a nearby restaurant for our group discussion, which might include- what ever happened to comedies.
Hope to see you there,