This afternoon I saw the new Chilean documentary by Patricio Guzmán, Nostalgia for the Light, at IFC Center. QUICK THOUGHTS:
The film places its focus on the two kinds of searches that are conducted in Chile’s Atacama desert, a barren landscape referred to in the film as “a vast, open book of memory.” Astronomers utilize its clear skies to search outer space for the origins of life, while mourning women comb the desert with tiny shovels searching for the remains of loved ones who were killed under Pinochet. Thankfully, Nostalgia for the Light never trivializes either hunt - finding significance in both distant stars and relics buried under the Chilean desert. It’s a hypnotic and moving exploration of “the past” - how we define it, how it defines us, and how we all share it.