Synopsis by Mark Deming
People look intently into the past for a variety of reasons in this documentary from Patricio Guzmán. With its high altitude and clear skies, Chile's Atacama Desert has long been a favorite location for astronomers investigating the mysteries of the night sky, and as one of them points out to Guzmán, when we look at the stars, we look at the past, since it took many years for their light to travel far enough for us to see it. While astronomers are a common sight in Atacama, they also share the barren lands with archaeologists, who search for engravings, artifacts, and mummies that will offer a glimpse of life as it was lived centuries before these scientists arrived. But while these men and women sift through the mysteries of the ancient past, ordinary Chilean citizens struggle to find out the truth about what happened to their relatives and loved ones during the violence of the Pinochet regime. Nostalgia por la Luz (aka Nostalgie de la Lumière or Nostalgia for the Light) was an official selection at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
archaeology, astronomy, Chile, desert, legacy, stars [astronomy]