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Fall 2011  September 26

Nostalgia for the Light

Chile, 2010, 90 minutes, documentary. Director: Patricio Guzmán
Spanish with subtitles

Nostalgia for the light - photo. Screening in Gibsons on September 26, 2011.

This beautiful film will capture you emotionally, visually and intellectually. Patricio Guzmán’s examination of light—its relationship to the past and what it illuminates of the future—is stunningly beautiful, insightful, and extremely well shot.

The documentary opens looking to the sky and ends looking into the earth. The Atacama Desert in Chile is unparalleled in the world; it is the driest place on earth, allowing astronomers a uniquely clear view of the universe and beyond. Archeologists flock to it because the incredibly dry conditions preserve remains. Sadly this special place also has a tragic history: within this vast desert lie unknown burial sites for the majority of the victims of Chile’s former dictator Pinochet. As a result, hundreds of devastated family members (mostly elderly women) comb through the desert and search for traces of their loved ones by hand.

In this intricate documentary, director Guzmán draws apt comparisons between the science of light, astronomy, archeology, experience and history, using a philosophical dialogue to illustrate hope and optimism in some of the saddest of situations. The interviews with his subjects are phenomenal: touching, emotional and revealing. He literally brings light into the darkest and most tragic part of Chile’s past.

Still photos from "Nostalgia for the Light"



Distributor's info page - Icarus Films.

Patricio Guzmán's filmaker page - Icarus Films.


Nostalgia for the Light trailer.


Nostalgia for the Light a painful and beautiful meditation. Review by Stephen Cole, The Globe and Mail

Surveyor of a Desert Where the Past and Present Coexist. Review by Larry Rother in the New York Times.


Winner Best Documentary, Prix ARTE, 2010 European Film Academy Awards

Official Selection, 2010 Cannes Film Festival

Official Selection, 2010 Toronto International Film Festival


441 Marine Drive, Gibsons, BC, V0N 1V1 604-886-8801

Patricia Hetherington, Realtor