Nostalgia for the Light (12A)

Film

Documentaries

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jul 10 2012

This magical, moving documentary is from Patricio Guzman, the Chilean filmmaker who has spent a lifetime exploring his country’s unsteady relationship with its past. While others bury their heads in the sand over Pinochet’s murderous regime during the 1970s and ’80s, or the slave labour on which Chile’s nineteenth-century prosperity was built, Guzman heads to the sands of the country’s Atacama Desert to confront with poetry and sensitivity – but also a journalist’s keen eye and rigour – themes of remembering and forgetting, exploring and ignoring.

It’s in the airless time capsule of the Atacama that Guzman encounters astronomers seeking answers about the universe, archaeologists hunting for evidence of past societies and ageing women searching for the remains of loved ones who were ‘disappeared’ under Pinochet. Guzman draws gentle but illuminating parallels between these stories. But underlying his film is a forceful plea for us to look beyond our noses to understand where we’ve come from, whether that means reaching out to the stars in the sky (presented beautifully in crisp images captured by observatories in the Atacama) or digging for bones in the ground.

Everything about this film makes you look with fresh eyes at the familiar. Guzman himself is a quiet, offscreen presence. You can imagine Werner Herzog making similar connections between the vastness of the cosmos and the more concrete details of human experience, but you can’t imagine him doing it – as Guzman does – with a sense of wonder anchored in solemnity and sobriety. A truly eye-opening experience.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Jul 13, 2012

Duration:

94 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Patricio Guzman

Users say

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Average User Rating

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LiveReviews|8
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Peter Ludbrook

What an extraordinary film. When I read the reviews I wasn't sure how the two strands of the film could be bound together. My fears were groundless. This is masterly film-making, beautifully shot, an elegiac tribute to the best and the worst that human beings are capable of. It is deeply moving.

Peter Ludbrook

What an extraordinary film. When I read the reviews I wasn't sure how the two strands of the film could be bound together. My fears were groundless. This is masterly film-making, beautifully shot, an elegiac tribute to the best and the worst that human beings are capable of. It is deeply moving.

Paul Murphy

This starts with awesome beauty of heavenly bodies, geometry of observatories and preservings vastness of the Atacama desert. Then perpetual enquiry into new scientific questions is directed the thousands murdered by Pinoiochet and whose renmains are scattered in the Atacama too. Ingenious and profoundly moving, one of my top 3 Films of the Year.

Paul Murphy

This starts with awesome beauty of heavenly bodies, geometry of observatories and preservings vastness of the Atacama desert. Then perpetual enquiry into new scientific questions is directed the thousands murdered by Pinoiochet and whose renmains are scattered in the Atacama too. Ingenious and profoundly moving, one of my top 3 Films of the Year.

Constantine

One of the most compelling, moving and thought-provoking films I have seen for a long time. Beautifully shot, a must-see movie!

Constantine

One of the most compelling, moving and thought-provoking films I have seen for a long time. Beautifully shot, a must-see movie!