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Nostalgia for the Light
Directed by Patricio Guzmán • 2010 • France, Chile
Master documentarian Patricio Guzmán travels ten thousand feet above sea level to the driest place on earth: Chile’s Atacama Desert, where astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars in a sky so translucent that it allows them to see to the boundaries of the universe. The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact, including those of political prisoners “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the 1973 military coup. Just as astronomers search for distant galaxies, surviving relatives of the disappeared search for the remains of their loved ones in a quest to reclaim their families’ histories. Melding the celestial and the earthly, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey into both Chilean history and the furthest reaches of space.