Put to the test : Matter and Memory

Nostalgia for the light

Nostalgia de la luz

Patricio Guzmán

2010
Chile / France / Espagne / / Allemagne
1h30
Documentary
Col.
Spanish with french subtitles

In Chile, at three thousand metres altitude, astronomers from all over the world gather together in the Atacama desert to observe the stars. The desert sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe. It is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact : those of the mummies, explorers and miners. But also the remains of the dictatorship's political prisoners. Whilst the astronomers examine the most distant galaxies in search of probable extraterrestrial life, at the foot of the observatories a group of women are digging through the desert soil in search of their disappeared relatives…

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.

(Jacques Mandelbaum, Le Monde, october 2010)
Screenplay
Patricio Guzmán
Photography
Katell Djian
Sound
Freddy González, Jacques Quinet
Music
Miranda & Tobar
Editing
Patricio Guzmán, Emmanuelle Joly, Ewa Lenkiewicz
Production
Atacama Productions, Blinker Filmproduktion &WDR, Cronomedia

Films in the Retrospective