The Guzmán Trilogy
February 21 - 27
Our Chicago first run of CORDILLERA OF DREAMS (Feb. 21-27) presents the concluding film in Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán's trilogy of documentaries that began with NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT in 2010 and continued with THE PEARL BUTTON in 2015. Called "one of the great artistic statements of the decade" by Martyn Conterio of CineVue, these three films gracefully weave together history, politics, natural beauty, and personal essay to form a monumental portrait of Chile while touching upon crucial issues that concern our entire planet.
Nostalgia for the Light
Nostalgia de la Luz
2010, Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile, 90 min.
“A film of rare visual poetry…simultaneously personal, political, and philosophical.”—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Stunningly beautiful…I don’t know how you can put more into a film, or make one that’s more deeply moving.”—Stuart Klawans, The Nation
Exploring the mysteries of the cosmos from high to low is the astonishing task Guzmán has set for himself in a film so intensely personal yet so universal in its resonance that it stands as the crowning glory of an already distinguished career. In Chile’s Atacama Desert, 10,000 feet above sea level, astronomers gaze at the expanding reaches of the universe, while in the ancient sands of the desert floor, patient sifting reveals secrets. In imagery gorgeous to behold, Guzmán finds parallels between the sky’s macro palette of stars and the earth’s micro array of human remains, from pre-Columbian mummies and the preserved bodies of nineteenth-century explorers and miners to the bone fragments of “disappeared” political prisoners. In Spanish with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
The Cordillera of Dreams
La cordillera de los sueños
2019, Patricio Guzmán, Chile/France, 85 min.
"Haunting and allusive…a stunning achievement."—Jessica Kiang, Variety
"Caps off an astonishing set of history-focused essay films...The trilogy represents one of the great artistic statements of the decade."—Martyn Conterio, CineVue
Following NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT and THE PEARL BUTTON, Patricio Guzmán's latest film completes a documentary trilogy that stands as one of the great achievements of 21st century cinema. Like its two predecessors, CORDILLERA centers on one of Chile's natural features, which serves as a grand metaphor linking the past and the present, the personal and the historical, the particular and the cosmic. The film's title refers to the massive bulwark of the Andes Mountains that surrounds the country, both protecting it and isolating it. Seen in both spectacular aerial views and granular close-ups, the cordillera (derived from Spanish for "little rope") becomes a springboard to explore the Pinochet regime's still-potent legacy, the current regime's efforts to deny the past, and Chilean artists' continuing struggle to confront that past, whether by working in exile (like Guzmán) or, in the case of featured documentary filmmaker Pablo Salas, by staying behind and providing a filmed record that stands as a bulwark against official state-sanctioned amnesia. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
The Pearl Button
El botón de nácar
2015, Patricio Guzmán, Chile, 82 min.
“A stunning achievement...Guzmán is hands down the most important director in Chilean cinematic history.”—Kevin B. Lee, Indiewire
Guzman's dazzling and haunting follow-up to his 2010 masterpiece NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT once again weaves together the cosmic, the personal, and the political with breathtaking grace. Whereas NOSTALGIA centered on the arid plains and crystal skies of the Atacama desert, PEARL takes water as its master image to explore the history of a country inseparable from its 2600-mile coastline. Beginning with a single drop enclosed in a block of quartz, the film flows with the sea through its various incarnations—as the home of the now nearly extinct “water tribes” of the Patagonian archipelago, as the vehicle for the arrival of the European colonialists, and as the dumping ground for victims of the Pinochet regime. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)