Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light)
The Atacama desert in Chile is home to a series of major optical and radio telescopes, which astronomers use to scrutinise the heavens, look back into the universe’s past, and try to unlock the secrets hidden there.
But the Atacama desert also hides another secret – the remains of Pinochet’s Desaparecidos. In the years of General Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973 – 1990), tens of thousands of people who opposed his political views were ‘disappeared’: taken away from their families and never heard from again.
It emerged that many of the remains were buried in the Atacama desert, the driest place on the planet, and the wives and sisters of these political prisoners still venture out to find and lay to rest their loved ones.
The film manages to finely mesh together these two themes, looking up, and looking down. Both sets of people are searching for evidence of things past, in order to in some way shape their perception or understanding of the present.
It barely scratches the surface of the horrors of the Pinochet regime, but it’s an enthralling film on many levels, and is one of the best I’ve seen this year.
And for once, the trailer captures the film perfectly – in less than 2 minutes.