Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Nostalgia De La Luz
France/Germany/Chile, 2010. Atacama Productions, Blinker Filmproduktion, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cronomedia, Fonds Sud Cinéma, Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, La Région Île-de-France, Television Espanola, Brouillon d’Un Rêve de la SCAM. Screenplay by Patricio Guzman. Cinematography by Katell Djian. Produced by Jutta Krug, Renate Sachse. Music by Miguel Miranda, Jose Miguel Tobar. Film Editing by Patricio Guzman, Emmanuelle Joly.
Deep in the deserts of Chile is an astronomical observatory where scientists peer into the sky and search for the truth about the universe and its past. On a much closer scale, the desert is being scoured by a group of people, mostly women, many of them now reaching elderly age, who are searching for the remains of relatives who disappeared during the Pinochet regime. This soulful, beautifully photographed documentary seeks to unite the two themes and, while it sounds very strange, the combination of science, politics and human relationships makes for a fascinating study. The scientists find themselves wondering how they can believe in the progress of humanity that astronomical study provides when such atrocities are so recent in their memory; the women worry that they will never find the truth before they die. Some of its narration lays it on a bit thick with flowery prose, but the interviews are diverting and the conclusion hits you somewhere deep.
European Film Award: Best European Documentary
Toronto International Film Festival: 2010